The Heart of Iowa Conference is proposing an increase in admission costs for all sub-varsity level events. Nevada School Board members voted unanimously Monday against an increase; however, board members acknowledged that they understand the need for more gate receipts and that they’d be more supportive of an increase at high-school sub-varsity events than at junior high events.

The conference is seeking to know how the boards of its member schools feel about increasing the adult admission cost by $1 – going from $2 to $3 per event, per person – at sports events for junior high, freshman or junior varsity. They were not proposing to change the "free" admission for students at those levels.

The reason for the proposal is to help pay the cost of officials, which, Nevada Middle School Principal Chris Schmidt said, is now $65 per game per official for basketball and $75 per game per official for football.

Nevada Superintendent Steve Gray said that if an activities budget can’t handle these officiating costs, then the money to cover that comes out of the school’s general fund. Nevada Schools Business Manager Brian Schaeffer said Nevada’s gate admission hasn’t generated enough to break even on the cost of officials this year.

Gray said obviously Nevada, like other schools, depends most heavily on the gate receipts from football and girls’ and boys’ basketball.

Board member Tori Carsrud said she was most concerned about an increase in the admission cost for junior high events. If the school’s philosophy about middle school sports is that these are more developmental for athletes, than she feels the school should do everything it can to keep admission cost down and make it possible for parents to come and support their children in those endeavors.

Board Vice President Laura West didn’t disagree with Carsrud, but said she also understood the need to bring in more revenue to try to pay officials. West also commented that a lot of parents spend way more in admissions on weekends to attend kids’ (AAU) tournaments and sports events. In the end, though, West said she’d prefer to leave admission as it is for sub-varsity events.

Board member Tom Maier said he could live with a $1 increase at this time, but stated, "I don’t want to see a trend in increasing middle school ticket prices, because that will drive parents away."

Board President Marty Chitty said that if all the conference is looking for at this time is how Nevada board members feel about raising the cost of admission, then the board should tell them they don’t want to. That doesn’t mean that an increase won’t still happen, but at least they will know Nevada’s isn’t in favor of it.

McCaulley’s resignation accepted

As part of the consent agenda, the board approved the resignation of Dave McCaulley, assistant high school principal and activities director. McCaulley’s resignation, according to Gray, is effective at the end of his current contract for this school year. Gray said until the end of the year, McCaulley is on paid administrative leave, which began on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Gray would not comment about why McCaulley is on administrative leave.

Gray said the district is already in the process of looking for a replacement for the high school principal/activities director position. He said the district will post the position both internally and through external advertisements.

For the remainder of this school year, Gray said that he and High School Principal Justin Gross, along with the athletic secretary, will handle the duties of the assistant principal/athletic director position.

Food service audit goes well

Gray commented on a recent audit of the operations of the Nevada School Food Service. The consultant who performed the audit focused on the middle school kitchen and operations and gave Nevada’s Food Service a good review.

Gray said, "We did very well, and I wanted to acknowledge the efforts of those involved, particularly Candy (Anderson – Food Service director). Any time you have an audit, it’s an acknowledgement of how you’re doing as a district."

The consultant, Angela Mitchell, was complimentary of the Nevada Food Service, saying that items requiring corrective action were "few and minor in nature." She further stated, "Candy is very passionate and proud of the Nevada Food Service Program, and her hard work and positive attitude set the tone for the whole department."