Seymour School Board Talks School Liaison, Communication Improvements

By Stephen Knoll
School Liaison TJ Hilgenberg gave a presentation on the work he’s done in the schools over the last year.
Hilgenberg said he’s been working on creating more positive interactions with the students and help them build better relationships.
As the school liaison officer Hilgenberg will sometimes read stories to students, have lunch or recess with them, and get to know them.
“Having a school liaison like Officer Hilgenberg is a really important presence,” Mayor Kraft said.
Police Chief Richard Buntrock echoed those sentiments and praised the work Hilgenberg has done.
Officer Hilgenberg also works with students in middle and high school giving presentations on drunk driving, sex trafficking, etc.
With all the positive work Hilgenberg has done the school board has shopped around the idea of adding a second police liaison.
The idea behind it is to give a more regular presence in the schools, while Hilgenberg comes around as much as possible his priority is as an officer and is sometimes called away when he was scheduled to visit.
Some board members were concerned about the idea of adding another officer though, wondering if there was a solution that could offer that positive presence without a disciplinary role like a normal officer has.
The board said they are still workshopping the idea and aren’t making any proposals or recommendations until there’s been some more time to explore the options.
In the meeting the board also approved a massive overhaul of the communication systems in the school, including the phone lines and PA system.
Peter Kempen, Director of Business Services for the school, noted that the system in place were outdated and in need of replacement.
Overall between the two systems the estimated cost is $562,700 but that cost could drop Kempen said if the school does some of the work on their own.
The board also decided to table the motion for a salary increase while it waited for a firm number from the insurance company on how much the rates would increase.
Kempen said they were quoted a 6 percent increase, but they weren’t told exactly how much 6percent would be.