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New member Nichole Piland appointed to School Board

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local
The Lebanon Community School District appointed Nichole Piland to the School Board at its March 10 meeting.
The Zone 5 seat on the school board became vacant following Todd Gestrin’s resignation in December. Two qualified applicants, Piland and Roger Maurer, were individually interviewed during the board meeting.
Piland moved to Lebanon in 2006 and has two kids who graduated from Lebanon High School. She works for Linn County in the property tax office and used to volunteer with Mountaineer Outreach, a group that took medical and school supplies to remote villages in the Philippines.
Since the nonprofit recently dissolved, Piland was looking for another opportunity to give back to her community, she said.
Maurer moved to Lebanon 28 years ago during which time his four kids graduated from LHS. He regularly attended school board meetings at Linn-Benton Community College, where he taught math for more than 30 years. Since his recent retirement, Maurer thought he could be helpful to the community by serving on the board.

SCHOOL BOARD members interview Nichole Piland during their meeting Thursday, March 10.

Following a brief discussion indicating both were good candidates, the board unanimously voted for Piland. Board Chair Mike Martin asked Maurer to consider joining the Budget Committee. Piland’s term will end June 30, 2025.
Following Piland’s swear-in, Supt. Bo Yates announced that state guidelines will allow the school district to unmask beginning March 12.
“Tomorrow will be the last day that we’ll have required masking,” Yates said.
Masks will be recommended, but optional, he said.
During a time for public comment, Tana Nicholson asked the board when parents and grandparents will be allowed to return to school as volunteers to help kids get caught up.
“If our community wraps around these kids, I know we can help them get caught up,” she said.
Yates responded to her question, saying he anticipates bringing volunteers back after Spring Break. Those volunteers, however, must be vaccinated, probably until the remainder of the year, he said.
Other board members present were Richard Borden and Tom Oliver. Tammy Schilling was absent.
In other business, the board:
♦ Heard a report from Lebanon High School Principal Craig Swanson on the current data for its graduation rate. He said they have an 85 percent attendance rate, which is a bit lower than normal, but there have been a lot of students out due to long quarantines.
According to data provided by Swanson, 80 percent of seniors, 68 percent of juniors, 63 percent of sophomores and 82 percent of freshmen are currently on track to graduate on time;
♦ Approved the 2022-23 certified calendar;
♦ Adopted the Amplify CKLA (Common Knowledge Language Arts) K-5 English Language Arts program. A committee was formed to review different ELA programs, which ultimately determined CKLA to be the best option for the district;
♦ Approved the superintendent’s annual recommendations for renewal and non-renewal of probationary teachers and administrators, and for extension and non-extension of contract to contract teachers and administrators;
♦ Approved Resolution 2122-6, entering into a contract with Soderstrom Architects for architectural design and consulting services in the amount of $372,994 for the Seven Oak Middle School classroom addition project.