The Bozeman School Board will vote Monday night to hire a new principal for Morning Star School and reduce hours for two tenured teachers to help balance the budget, as well as discuss altering rules for high school graduation.

The new principal will replace Nonnie Hughes, who is retiring after leading Morning Star for 18 years. Superintendent Kirk Miller said Friday he was still making background checks on the two finalists: Skyler Rodolph, associate principal at two elementary schools in Tucson, Ariz., and Tom Siegel, principal at Newview Elementary in Nuevo, Calif. Thirty-five people applied for the job.

Also on Monday's agenda is a proposed change in the requirements for students to participate in graduation ceremonies. The current rule requires students to complete all school work two weeks before graduation. Instead, administrators propose requiring that students must be "on track" to complete their requirements.

The change, Miller said, would create some flexibility for students who have completed their work throughout the year but have a small amount to finish. It also would prevent a situation where students try to turn in an entire year's work at the last minute. In the past, he said, a few students have turned in work, even on the day of graduation, and come in with parents and grandparents, asking to be in the ceremony.

"The last month of school, you have to be squared away to be ‘on track,'" Miller said. "If you've done no work, you're not on track."

Miller is also recommending reducing hours for two tenured teachers. It would amount to one-third of a full-time job for a trades and industries teacher at Bozeman High and one-quarter of an art teacher's job at Chief Joseph Middle School.

At Bozeman High, the trades teaching job is being reduced because enrollment in the elective classes slipped below the minimum number to keep each class.

The trades and industries teachers at the high school and the art teachers at the middle school all have tenure. Reduction of tenured teaching jobs must follow rules set in the teachers' union contract, which means those with seniority may bump teachers with less seniority. If the School Board rejected the job cuts, it would cost the schools more than $28,000.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in Willson School. The full School Board agenda is posted online at

Gail Schontzler is at or 582-2633.


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