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PES says OK to pilot softball program

Published: Friday, June 27, 2014 3:30 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, June 27, 2014 3:35 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — The Princeton Elementary School District will go ahead with a one-year pilot program to participate with the Princeton and Malden communities to offer a softball program.

The new program will be offered at no cost to the PES District and taxpayers but would be completely funded through the community, Superintendent Tim Smith said at Monday’s PES Board meeting. The proposal for the softball program was presented to the school board at its May meeting, as a request from area coaches Kevin Bauer and Bob James.

Prior to Monday’s vote to go forward with the one-year pilot program, board member Steve Bouslog said he did have some reservations about the program. Though the program would not cost the school district any money, the public perception could still be a concern with the district making cuts and increasing class sizes, while adding a sports program, even at no cost to the district. He would rather seek to add academic programs, like foreign languages, rather than adding a sports program, Bouslog said.

Board member Terry O’Neill said he understood the concerns; but community members have come forward; and he would like to lend the district’s cooperation for the one-year pilot program.

Board member Doris Hamilton agreed, saying the continuation of the program would be reviewed in a year.

After further discussion, the board unanimously voted to go forward with a one-year, pilot program, at no cost to the district. Board member Elizabeth Arkels was absent from the meeting.

As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, the new softball program would be open to seventh- and eighth-graders at Logan Junior High School and Malden Grade School with the possibility of opening up the program to sixth-graders if additional numbers are needed.

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