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School District Opens Year With Completed Checklist
At the ready to safely cross Fair Oaks students, sixth grade crossing guard David Diebner, does his job, stopping traffic on Friday morning prior to the first bell ringing, with all Oakdale schools now back in session. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

Oakdale Joint Unified School District board members reconvened after a one month break for summer on Monday, Aug.10 at Oakdale City Council Chambers.

It was a ‘first’ official meeting for newly appointed Oakdale Teachers Association representative Lance Campbell, as well as Student School Board Representative Michael Winders.

“I consider this a tremendous honor to have been selected by my colleagues for this position,” Campbell stated to the board. “It also marks my 15th year as a teacher in the Oakdale Joint Unified School District.

“Starting my fifth year now, as a parent of a student in the Oakdale Joint Unified School District, I couldn’t be happier with the education he’s receiving.”

Campbell also acknowledged the negotiation struggle of the board and OTA from the 2014-15 contract year, noting that some members were not completely satisfied at the end of last year.

“I do look forward to moving forward into this year and hoping for better things,” he said.

Shortly after, Winders was sworn in by board member Tina Shatswell.

“I’m just really excited to be here,” Winders told the board members. “There’s a lot of things I want to get involved in and I want to voice my concerns for the school, so thank you.”

Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Services and Facilities, Larry Mendonca offered a power point presentation on the current state of the multi-purpose room construction at Cloverland and Fair Oaks elementary schools. Anticipated dates for school usage are Aug. 24 for Cloverland and Sept. 4 for Fair Oaks. Both projects are approximately one month ahead of schedule and remain on budget.

“This is extremely exciting,” Mendonca said of the progress.

“These are anticipated dates,” Mendonca added of completion, noting that all finishes and workmanship is being reviewed daily by workmen as well as district staff to ensure top notch quality upon completion. “We staggered those (dates) so that we could take advantage of some workability with the crews out there.

“This couldn’t have been done so well without some key people in place,” he continued. “I really need to tip my hat to Dan Casey. Dan put out so many fires, took care of so many things, even before I was aware of it. He is a true team player, a true master and him coordinating with the contractor and the superintendent on the job really enabled us to get this project done quickly. I can’t say enough about that project. It’s been a dream.”

In addition to the multi-purpose rooms, Mendonca shared photos of the newly upgraded audio video system and an automatic gate for the bus loading zone.

“The audio system in there is state of the art,” he said, sharing with the group that the system is controlled remotely from an iPad. “There’s also a docking section for your phone. Where you can play anything from your phone through this system.

“This sound system, you don’t just hear it, you feel it,” he stated.

Mendonca concluded by stating that the facility project list was now complete.

“We have delivered to the community, what the district and facilities committee felt were the needs of the district,” he said. “The priorities of the district are complete. So it’s time for that committee to meet again and look at our next set of priorities and next set of needs.”

Superintendent Marc Malone made note of the coming minimum day schedule for all school sites as campuses prepare for Back to School nights. The next board meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Oakdale City Council Chambers.