Well, the graduation is over, and students and staff are done for the year. It’s been a great year, and I’m looking for everyone returning in August. Each year I feel this, but it seems like the 2012-2013 school year flew by. Our students and staff experienced many successes, conquered a few challenges, and made another school year something to be proud of. I hope everyone has a great summer, and each of our families have a chance to spend some quality time enjoying the time off.

A couple of months ago, the Board approved a change to our business office hours for June and July. Starting next week, Candi Holm (Dist. Business Manager), Deb Holm (Office Assistant), and I will be in our office Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. til 4:30 p.m., and from 7:30 a.m. til noon on Friday. If you need to meet with me or have business you need our help with, please stop by during those hours or give us a call and we can arrange to meet at your convenience. Our office number is 733-4301, and my email address is mbillings@roland-story.k12.ia.us.

Some of our summer projects have already begun, and due to one of them, the track and football field area will be locked off for most of the summer. Our new stadium seating project has started with the removal of our old bleachers and press box, and the groundwork should begin soon. After the ground has been prepared (around July 1st), the new bleachers will be constructed. When the bleachers are done, our new press box will be completed. I apologize for the inconvenience, but the necessary stadium project will provide a safer and better environment for our fans and visitors.

Another project we are starting soon is a switch over from fluorescent lighting to an LED approach. We are working with Norsemen Electric of Story City and Innovative Lighting of Roland. While the initial cost may a little higher, the long-term costs will be a benefit for our district, and lighting for our students and staff will be improved. We are starting with our south gym in the high school and a couple of offices. Hopefully, we can continue the "change out" over the course of the next few years.

This will be my last column until next fall. I’d like to thank all of you for your support and assistance throughout the year. We at R-S are extremely fortunate to have citizens who care about education and provide stability for the children. The many volunteers we have can never be replaced. Without that sense of service to our school, we’d never be able to provide the quality education we are famous for. I’d also like to say thanks to the leaders of the two communities. We have a close working relationship with the city councils, the police and sheriff’s departments, and the other civic organizations. It is so comforting knowing that we can partner with these groups to do what we do. And finally, a special thank you goes to Todd Thorson and the Story City Herald. Todd’s coverage of all of our activities and events is simply outstanding, and our kids and school are fortunate to have them in our corner!