Yuma-1 to seek mascot images

The Yuma Outlaws don’t have a good image, at least not yet.

Yuma School District-1 is turning to the public to help come up with the proper imagery.

That was the direction the Y-1 Board of Education gave Superintendent Dianna Chrisman during its regular monthly meeting, Monday night at the District Office.

The issue of “Mascot Graphic Planning” came up toward the meeting’s end.

As most know, state legislation forced Yuma to drop “Indians” after nearly 80 years. The Yuma schools went without a mascot name for one school year. The community, through a tournament-type process, eventually selected “Outlaws” last September.

Yuma-1 already was in a partnership with DSN as it worked through eradicating one mascot and moving into selecting a new one. It was anticipated by district leaders last fall that a new Outlaws image could be in place as soon as December.

However, that has been far from the case.

“To be honest, the process has not been what I envisioned from our first conversations with them,” Chrisman told the board Monday night. She noted there has not been the community engagement as initially indicated. Primarily, it has been the YHS administration and some teachers dealing with DSN.

The company has come up with new variations based on feedback, but nothing to date has really struck a cord.

“I’m feeling a little bit stuck,” Chrisman said, adding the district could end up telling DSN to start over. She said it might be a good time to get some public feedback on DSN’s “conceptual” drawings.

Board member Tyson Brown said he feels underwhelmed by what has been presented, and the other board members agreed. Lindsey Galles suggested maybe letting the students come up with something. Heath Roundtree said it might go over better if the mascot image was produced locally.

The board and Chrisman were in agreement to request submissions from the public, but to keep in mind to avoid copyright issues. Chrisman said she would like to see something to present to the board by its April meeting.

Look for more on this in upcoming editions of the Pioneer.

Budget planning

Chrisman provided very early information on budget planning for the 2024-25 fiscal year, particularly involving staff compensation and capital outlay plannings.

She said there are efforts in the state legislature to change the School Finance Act, which has followed the same formula since 1994. Chrisman said that as of Monday, the district was looking at $500,000 of new money, including small rural funds.

She noted the state is projecting a lower enrollment for Yuma-1, which determines state equalization funds. The district also is planning on increases in property/casualty insurance and health insurance.

If doing a standard 3-percent raise, the salary and insurance increases take up most of the new money.

Chrisman said the district likes to get teacher contracts out by April, but this year might have to wait until May.

She also went over several capital projects, some of which already have been budgeted and paid for. The auditorium renovation still is underway, but Chrisman said it is going to come in well under budget. The floor in The Pit needs replaced, which has not been done in 30 years.

Some potential projects include upgrades to the north entrance to the football/track complex, a stage extension for the auditorium, and new lights at the softball and baseball fields.

The lights were removed from both fields this past week as most did not work anymore, and many were about to fall to the ground. The poles are staying up for now. New lights, including new poles, and most likely new electrical system, would approaching roughly $600,000 or more.

Consent Calendar

The Consent Calendar included a handful of personnel moves. Recommended hirings included Jasmine Baucke as Yuma Preschool temporary para, Ryan Lebsack as YMS head track coach, and Valarie Allen and Katherine Coughlin as YMS assistant track coaches. The one separation/resignation was for Lesa Routh-Halcomb as seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher.

Multiple donations were part of the Consent Calendar: Yuma Booster Club $240 each for boys basketball and girls basketball; Greg and Heather Klein $600 for YHS Mock Trial; Yuma Methodist Church $400 for YHS Mock Trial; $300 from Premier Farm Credit to pay for students at the regional basketball tournament; $480 from Yuma Booster Club for YHS Band for state basketball meals, $336 for YHS Cheer for state basketball meals, $600 for YHS boys basketball for state basketball meals, $600 for YHS girls basketball for state basketball meals; $500 from Ryan King for YHS band, and; $450 from the Knights of Columbus for Yuma-1’s special education departments.

The first reading for a special policy update dealign with primary/preprimary education was part of the Consent Calendar.

Several activity trip requests also were included: The YHS boys and girls basketball teams, and the pep band, to state basketball, YHS FBLA to the state conference in Aurora next week, YHS FFA to the State Contest in Fort Collins April 28-29, YHS FFA to the state convention in Pueblo in June, YHS Science to the State Science Fair in Fort Collins April 11-13, YHS Science to the International Science Fair in Los Angeles, California, May 12-17, and YHS girls basketball to a basketball camp in Greeley, June 20-22.

The school closures on March 7 and March 8 also were ratified.