Hebron | The Boone Township School Board elected David Molchan as its board president for 2014 at its January meeting Tuesday evening.
Jerry Fieser was elected vice president, while Peter Blank was chosen as secretary.
Members also established the board to serve as the board of finance and First Source Bank as the depository of corporation funds.
The board reviewed investments for the past year.
“Interest for the last few years has not been very good due to the economy of the country and interest rates not being very good,” said superintendent George Letz.
The board approved a first grade field trip to see a play at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster, thanks to a $700 Target Field Trip grant. Nathaniel Weaver, a parent, donated $300 to Hebron elementary on behalf of BP Amoco.
In his superintendent’s report, Letz said in 2013 the corporation lost almost $522,000 due to Indiana’s property tax cap, the “circuit breaker.”
“It took more money than we were expecting to lose … considerably more than what we expected,” said Letz.
Letz said the circuit breaker does not affect the district’s general fund.
“That’s provided by the state. Whatever the state legislature decides to give us, that’s what we have to live on,” said Letz.
“We’re one of the hardest hit school districts in Indiana by the circuit breaker,” said Letz. “It continues to be a bomb for us … it means we receive less income in the form of property taxes. We continue to take that hit and we will take that hit every year.”
Despite the financial hardships, the corporation finished the year in the black, said Letz.
“We have made some progress due to the reductions we have made, we are moving along,” said Letz. “We’re continuing to make the transition pedagogically and in the curriculum to the common core standards.”
Jim Martin, elementary school principal, said the school’s parent teacher group will explore creating a mural in the school lobby to “brighten and spruce it up a bit.”
Middle school principal Jeff Brooks said carpeting and furniture in the school library have been replaced for the first time since the 1980s.
“We’re trying to make it a nice, open atmosphere there,” said Brooks.