Dave Belus

After two months serving as interim chairman of the Johnson County School District’s board of trustees, Dave Belus will continue to lead the board through 2020.

Belus, who was elected to the board in 2014, was unanimously elected as its new chairman during the Dec. 9 board meeting. Belus has served as interim chairman since November 2019, when former Chairman Tim Blaney resigned due to health reasons.

Board member Marcy Schueler said that Belus had proven himself a worthy board leader in recent months.

“I think Dave has done a nice job of running these meetings since Tim left,” Schueler said.

As chair, Belus will preside over all board meetings. The chair also cosigns all warrants and checks drawn on the school district treasury. Belus previously served as school board vice chair in 2019.

Jodi Verplancke, who was elected to the school board in 2016, was unanimously approved as the board’s vice chair for 2020. Verplancke, who replaces Belus in the role, will preside over meetings when Belus is absent.

John Manzella, who was elected to the board in 2018, was unanimously approved as the board’s clerk for 2020. Manzella will replace Margo Sabec in the role.

The clerk is secretary to the board, with legal responsibilities that include preparing all papers and reports required by law, recording all proceedings of the board in books and filing all papers pertaining to district business.

Rich Hall, who is serving his third full term on the board, was elected treasurer. Hall, who replaces Verplancke in the role, will be in charge of the school district’s funds. Board member Mike Moon was also nominated for the position.

The treasurer’s responsibilities include paying out money on order of the clerk, keeping track of the district’s expenditures and receipts, cosigning all warrants and publishing the school district’s financial statement in the Buffalo Bulletin at the close of each fiscal year.

All board officers will serve in their positions through December 2020.

Board members also volunteered for committees during the Dec. 9 meeting.

Hall will continue to serve on the BOCES – or Board of Cooperative Educational Services – board. Northeast Wyoming BOCES is a Gillette-based organization that offers educational and residential services for students with special needs. A board member from each school district that participates in the BOCES program is required to participate in monthly meetings – either in person or over the phone.

Belus will join Schueler on the BOCHES, or Board of Cooperative Higher Educational Services committee, which provides funding for Sheridan College in Johnson County and other higher education services. Belus will replace Hall on that board.

Mike Moon will continue to serve as the school district’s liaison to the Johnson County Recreation District board. Each spring, the rec district board distributes funding to various community organizations, including the Johnson County Family YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of the Bighorns.

New board member Jan Johnson was appointed to the board’s deliberations committee, along with Sabec and Manzella. The deliberations committee helps make decisions regarding salaries and benefits each spring.

Belus will continue to serve on the joint powers fuel board, which includes city and county officials. A representative of the school board meets with those officials to discuss fuel prices. Belus will also continue to serve on the Buffalo High School Developmental Fund committee, which oversees scholarships given out at the school.

Schueler will replace trustee Mary McCorkle on the Sheridan College in Johnson County advisory board.

Verplancke will continue to serve on the district advisory committee, which updates the community on school district matters on a biannual basis, and the sick leave bank committee, which considers any sick leave requests submitted by staff.

Moon will join the district’s policy committee, which works to update outdated policies. Schueler served on the committee in 2019.

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