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Peg Monteith

The Cody School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to drop the interim tag and approve a new contract for superintendent Peg Monteith. 

Trustees Rosencranse and McCue were absent from the vote. 

While the ink isn’t yet dry and some details, including compensation, are still being hashed out, Monteith said she intends to sign the contract, which runs through June of 2022. 

“It was not something I expected when I accepted the interim position,” Monteith said. “But I’m excited. I love this district. I feel very devoted and dedicated to making it a great place for kids.”

She said she’s looking forward to digging into the work of running a district beyond surviving the COVID-19 pandemic and “constantly improving” Cody schools, but knows that the upcoming year will have its own challenges. 

“We really are looking at how our instructional practices have to change a bit if we are in a position where we have to provide online as well as brick-and-mortar instruction,” Monteith said. “That’s our first goal: making sure our teachers feel comfortable moving from one mode to the other ... If we can get that goal accomplished by the time school starts, we’ll have accomplished a pretty heavy lift at that point.”

One of the other heavy lifts the district has to make is getting funding from the CARES Act. Monteith said the district is eligible for around $600,000 in grant money and has already tied up about $250,000. 

That money is being used (or has already been used) for increased maintenance costs due to higher sanitation needs and the purchase/replacement of equipment for the district, including plexiglass barriers for some of the classroom tables and devices to ensure that students can connect to online education at home. 

The approval of the contract was added to the agenda at the start of the meeting and, unlike the previous superintendent search that led to hiring Superintendent Ray Schulte, there was no search committee finalists. 

Board chair Brandi Nelson said Monteith will bring “continuity” to the district during a period rife with challenges.

Nelson also said new trustees coming onto the board this year would have only held the position for about a month before they would have had to choose their new chief administrator, a major challenge.

“We will have four new board members coming in. That’s a huge consideration,” she said. “It’s such a steep learning curve to come on to a board like this, and then to have to be making a decision on a superintendent, I wouldn’t want to be in that position.”

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