While discussing an expansion of course offerings for Havre High School students to also get college credit through Montana State University-Northern, Trustee Norm Proctor had a few questions.
During Tuesday’s night’s Board of Trustees meeting, Proctor wondered whether it was legal for one of the new courses offered, Introduction to Sociology, to be taught by fellow Trustee Curtis Smeby.
“I know the concept is great, ” Proctor said. “I just wanted to avoid ending up in deep water. ”
Proctor said he remembered when Judy Bricker was on the board and also wanted to substitute teach. At that time, Proctor recalled, the district refused, because a trustee could not be on the district pay roll. Even her offer to work for free had been rejected.
Now this situation is somewhat different. Smeby would be doing his regular job as a Northern professor, and the students would have to pay their own way into the class, so Smeby wouldn’t be taking school dollars.
But he would be working with the students who are affected by his decisions as a trustee as well.
Havre Public Schools Superintendent Andy Carlson said he didn’t think it would be a problem, but he would check today with the Montana School Board Association to make sure.
The Havre Daily News also contacted MTSBA this morning, but did not hear back by deadline. Carlson said this morning that he had already talked with them and that the organization was putting together a memo, that should be ready next week, with an answer to Proctor’s question.
Trustee Mark Magelssen shared Proctor’s reservation and proposed tabling the dual- credit expansion until an answer was tracked down. Carlson said that was fine, since they could still approve it at their Oct. 23 meeting, before registration at Northern begins on Nov. 1.