The Fairfax R-3 School District Board of Education met February 21, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. in the school library. Jon Graves, board president, called the meeting to order at 6:31p.m. Other board members present were: Chance Clement, Crystal Woodring, Miles Smith, Sam O’Riley, and Theresa Larson. Brett Johnson was absent. Also present were: Jeremy Burright, Superintendent; Dustin Barnes, Principal; and Karen Burke, Secretary.

Several teachers were at the board meeting and CTA representative, Lexi Heck, spoke to the board as to why some of the teachers feel it is important to them to use AMI days prior to using any snow days.

The agenda was approved as presented.

Consent Agenda

Board members reviewed the minutes of the January 19 regular and executive sessions; January 26 special work session; and February 6 special executive session.

The financial report was reviewed.

Monthly bills in the amount of $109,452.67 were reviewed and approved for payment.

Superintendent’s Report

The new gym floor mats have arrived. They must be laid out to “relax” the folding before use.

Mr. Vernon has been working installing the new vanity in the workroom, painting, and doing light repairs.

A new milk cooler was delivered but there is confusion regarding the model that was sent. The model in the cafeteria is $7,000 and Dr. Burright did not agree to that price point. He is working with the repairman to resolve this issue.

It will be time to mow soon. Dr. Burright will start looking at mowers this month and begin purchasing equipment for the upkeep of the grounds.

Bus 19 is still in the shop (over 40 days) with an expected shipping date for a part on February 22.

During the Superintendent’s Spotlight Debra Wyatt presented to the board a presentation as to why music is important.

Principal’s Report

Mr. Barnes presented general information on County Band Day, the 100th day of school was held on February, AND Read Across America Week.

The PD Committee and administrators are meeting to work on the PD schedule for next year as well as the onboarding process for new hires.

Math Consultants came back to Fairfax on February 8 to work with elementary and junior high/high school math teachers. Mr. Barnes reported seeing a lot of the processes and strategies that are being shared by the consultants used in the classroom.

Student Information System Update

Stage 1 of the school’s implementation, data transfer, is completed. Fairfax has sent data and information to School Insite. School Insite has been working on transferring over Fairfax R-3’s last four years’ worth of student information and building the new site.

Five different administrator training sessions have been set up for secretaries, counselors, and administrators to work on specific tasks related to building the calendar, schedule, and fines and fees site.

The Enhanced Parent Communication system build is being worked on as well.

Co-op applications for 2023-2024 have been submitted to MSHSAA.

High school spring sports (baseball and track) will begin practice February 27.

Junior high wrestlers start their matches on February 23.

Consent Agenda Approval

The consent agenda was approved.

New Business

The senior trip itinerary was presented to the board and unanimously approved as presented.

AMI days were discussed and the board recommended  that more information be collected and reassess what future plans will look like to have AMI days prior to snow days. It was recommended that a survey be submitted to parents and staff.

The school will get more guidance from DESE on the literacy plan and more data and information at a later date. Approval is needed to meet deadlines. Board members voted to approve the Fairfax R-3 Literacy Plan as presented.

The concurrent enrollment agreement  allows Fairfax R-3 to award high school credits for classes taken at Tarkio Tech. Board members voted unanimously to approve the concurrent enrollment agreement with Tarkio Tech.

Board members voted to approve the payment of $1,505.60 to First Student for vo tech transportation.

Board members approved the payment of $6,983.00 to Northwest Mechanical for condensate pump replacement.  This pump was bad, leaking water, and was replaced in order to keep the boiler running.

Superintendent Search Update

There was an email from MaryBeth, MARE representative, stating three candidates applied. She also stated that there is a shortage of candidates. The board might want to review the salary. Closing date is Friday, February 24, 2023. A special meeting will be held February 28 to discuss the process to proceed.

Community Use Fee Waiver

Board members voted to waive the building usage fee for the Fairfax Optimist Basketball Tournament. Two board members abstained.

Hiring Practices Discussion

Mr. Barnes reached out to other schools to see what their practice is with their hiring process. He had one response. He showed the school board a scoring guide template of what the school uses for their open positions. Dr. Burright will look at board policy and report at the next regular board meeting if what Fairfax R-3 is currently doing would be defensible.

Falls City Mercantile Payment

Food costs are $29,568 in 2022-23 compared to $32,810 in 2021-22. Overall this budget is lower but there are still invoices pending for repairs and a milk cooler replacement. Board members voted to approve the payment of $6,806.28 to Falls City Mercantile for food service supplies.

2023-2024 School Calendar

This calendar has been vetted by staff and is ready for board review. Highlights included: one week for Thanksgiving, shorter Christmas break (return earlier than other schools), an extra day on spring break, start date of August 23, and end date of May 15. The calendar includes 167 student days, 175 teacher days, and 1,058.58 hours (14.58 hours for inclement weather, no make-up). Make-up inclement weather days will be February 19, March 28, April 1, and May 16, 17, and 20. Graduation will be May 19, 2024. Crystal Woodring made a motion to approve the 2023-24 calendar as presented. Miles Smith seconded the motion and the vote was five (yes) and one (no).

The next regular board meeting will be March 16, 2023, at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting adjourned at 9:03 p.m.


Fairfax R-3 School District Board of Education held a special open meeting March 8, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. in the school library. Jon Graves, board president, called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m. Other board members present were: Brett Johnson, Chance Clement, Crystal Woodring, Miles Smith, Sam O’Riley, and Theresa Larson. Also present were: Karen Burke, school board secretary, and members of the staff. (Jeremy Burright, current superintendent, was not in attendance per request of board president.)

Board members approved the agenda as presented.

Jon Graves explained the process of how the board can motion and vote in open session and executive session. The nepotism chart was also discussed.

New Business

Board members voted unanimously to approve the minutes from the March 6, 2023, and March 7, 2023, special open sessions.

Ranking of the Candidates

There was discussion and consensus on candidates for the superintendent’s position (in interview order): Renee Turpin, Nick Kemerling, Dustin Barnes, and John Lawrence.

A handout of the candidates’ ranks were given to all board members to submit their own personal ranking on the four interviewees. Board president Graves tallied the ranking received from all board members.

Based on the board feedback they decided to move the process forward with two candidates, Nick Kemerling and Dustin Barnes.

Discussion was held as to why they ranked the two candidates the way they did. Discussion on Nick Kemerling was held in open session.

Selection of the 2023-2024 Superintendent of Schools for Fairfax R-3 School District

Theresa Larson made a motion to hire Nick Kemerling for the Fairfax R-3 School District 2023-2024 Superintendent of Schools. Chance Clement seconded the motion and the vote was approved five (yes) and two (no).

Sam O’Riley made a motion that if Nick Kemerling declines the offer for the Superintendent of Schools, Dustin Barnes be offered the position. Miles Smith seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous seven.

Theresa Larson made a motion to give $80,000 to the offered contract and make it a two-year contract to Nick Kemerling. Miles Smith seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m.