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School Board Moves On Volz Fund Change
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With concerns that the Leo Volz Scholarship Fund could be in danger, the Oakdale Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees held a discussion on options on how to deal with financial changes in the scholarship fund’s balance and the fund’s investment firm. The fund was established in 1996-97 to provide full tuition and books scholarships, paid for through the fund’s interest income, to Oakdale High School seniors who represent the most outstanding, well-rounded students in their class.

The funds have been managed by Merrill Lynch; however, the investment firm notified OJUSD that it will no longer manage public funds and the board must decide who will handle the money from the endowment. In the board report, it stated that due to the economy, in recent years the fund has only been generating one percent interest per year and tuition costs at the universities selected by Leo Volz scholarship winners have exceeded the interest made. Therefore, the principal of the fund has been invaded, which is permitted in the endowment, in order to cover the tuition costs and the fund has declined.

The scholarship fund will be depleted in the next decade without action taken by the board to make it more sustainable for the long term.

At their Monday night meeting, June 11, trustees decided to bring a new firm on board, authorizing Stevens and Associates Consulting Group of Modesto to take over the account. Brian Stevens of the investment firm has been assigned to handle the investments in relation to the Volz fund.

In other business, the board also unanimously approved adoption of the proposed 2012-2013 budget at the meeting, with the panel voting 5-0 in support of the estimated $40 million spending plan.

In consent items, the trustees approved the revision of the job title for Susan Dyke from Interim Chief Business Officer to Chief Business Officer. The trustees also approved the promotion of Kristi Rapinchuk to the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. She fills the vacancy left by the recently retired Barbara Shook. Rapinchuk had served as the district’s Director of Categorical Programs and that role will now be filled by new employee Armida Colon. These will all be effective as of July 1.

Other new employment includes a new art teacher at the high school, and new math teacher at the junior high school, a temporary fourth grade teacher at Fair Oaks, and a new mental health clinician for the district.

The next regular meeting of the OJUSD Board of Trustees will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 9 in the Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 N. Second Ave.