The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

School board discusses bus

Principals rehired


March 15, 2017

The idea of purchasing an activity bus was once again a topic of discussion at the Whitehall School Board of Trustees meeting last week.

Superintendent John Sullivan shared with the board a proposal he was given by Harlow’s Transportation. Sullivan said in discussions with Harlow’s, he was informed the cost of a new bus for the district would be around $160,000. He said the new bus in the Harlow proposal would be able to seat 49.

Sullivan has also had discussions with Tucker Transportation of Butte about a larger, charter size bus. Sullivan said the cost of a charter bus would be around $170,000, adding the bus would have around $300,000 miles, and would be around 10 years old.

Board members and Whitehall High School Principal Hannah Nieskens expressed concern about the storage that would be available in the bus proposal from Harlow’s. Nieskens said the football team currently has to use the back six or seven seats just for the bags. Board member Sue Pullman was concerned about the storage for band students and damage that could occur if they had to pack their instruments on the bus. Pullman said she wouldn’t want to spend the money without the bus having the space.

Sullivan said other schools including Frenchtown currently use a bus similar to the one in the Harlow’s proposal to transport students for sports or activities. Board member Michelle LaFountaine said they should contact Frenchtown about their bus and how much storage it has.

Sullivan said he would continue to ask questions and looking into the matter.

The Board also voted to approve the rehiring of both K-5 Principal Britt McLean and 6-12 Principal Hannah Nieskens.

Sullivan said McLean has stayed positive, has done everything he has asked him, and recommended him for rehire.

He said Nieskens has been an asset to the school, adding she is both fair and consistent.

“She is tough when she needs to be…and she can have a compassionate side too,” he said. “These two have worked a lot of hours.”


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