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School Board Highlights District Ag Achievements
board meeting
Oakdale Joint Unified Assistant Superintendent Larry Mendonca, left, accepted a $10,000 check donation from representatives of Co Bank and Yosemite Farm Credit at Monday nights meeting. The donation was made by Dan Mattos of Co Bank and Brian Lemons from Yosemite Farm Credit specifically for Oakdale School Farm and its continued progress. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

Monday night featured a light agenda as Oakdale Joint Unified conducted the second board meeting of the 2016-17 school year.

Oakdale School Farm and Oakdale FFA were the lead topics as funds were presented to the board by representatives of Yosemite Farm Credit and Co Bank. Together the institutions presented a check for $10,000 for the Oakdale School Farm. A separate check of $1,200 was presented by Yosemite Farm Credit for the state winning Oakdale FFA Livestock Judging team. The check will be used for their travel to Nationals hosted in Indiana in October.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Larry Mendonca addressed the board and audience acknowledging the institutions as well as the community for supporting the various school programs, including FFA and the School Farm.

“We’re very fortunate,” Mendonca said of the community of Oakdale and its education system. “We have a lot of student programs that excel across the board. When we looked to expand and increase our opportunities for our Agriculture students, because we do live in an agriculturally based community, we reached out and let some people know exactly what we were thinking about in regards to a vision and a program. As always this community has responded tremendously.”

Following presentation of the checks, Superintendent Marc Malone addressed attendees offering note and appreciation to Brian Lemons for his involvement with the school farm and its Ag Advisory committee.

“Brian graciously accepted to head up a subcommittee that deals with the orchard, which is 13 acres of production orchard, that’s going in with the school farm,” Malone stated. “That money will help keep the school farm self-sustaining. Brian Lemons, I’d like to thank you publicly for heading up that committee and for the work that’s been done. We’re moving along nicely.”

Malone noted the progress of the farm and said he is confident it will be ready for students by the end of the school year.

Oakdale FFA members were acknowledged by Superintendent Malone for achievements at both the Stanislaus County and State fairs, as well as their state award for Outstanding Livestock Award. He specifically noted their receipt of the John Thurman Award for the Outstanding FFA Chapter.

“The Thurman award is a combination of livestock exhibits, ornamental horticulture and Ag mechanics,” he said. “Oakdale also won the Ag Mechanics Sweepstakes award, dethroning Turlock who had won it for the previous 24 years.”

In other business, CSEA, Chapter #830 Vice President Adam Uplinger addressed the board for the first time. Following the retirement of Marc Mutoza earlier this month, Uplinger will now step in as board representative.

All consent items were approved unanimously by the board. Action items included approval of Resolution #16-17-01, Provision of Sufficient Textbooks and or Instructional Materials, Prior Year Financial Report and Approval of Conflict of Interest Code, Designated Positions.

“This was one of the most balanced years that I can recall being a part of and I’ve been here since 2003,” Chief Business Officer Susan Dyke said during the Prior Year Financial Report. “We really had great investments in the classroom, both in materials and devices, employee compensation. We were able to make up for some years that couldn’t contribute to our post-employment benefits.

“We ended the year, with most of our fund balance in cash, which we haven’t seen this great of a match between the two … actually it’s been a really, really long time,” Dyke stated.

Final revenue was reported to be $52.6 million by the Chief Business Officer, with 88 percent of the number being represented by State Revenue.

The September meeting began promptly at 6:30 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Fair Oaks students: Wes Burford, Leif Ryun and Cooper Pitney.

The next OJUSD Board meeting will be hosted on Monday, Oct. 10. Open session will begin at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 N. Second Ave., Oakdale and is open to the public.