Unity Board

Unity Board Organization Members: The following individuals are serving as the Officers of the Unity Board.

  • President: Dave Hamburger
  • Vice President: Mike Mangers
  • Secretary: Kris Vrooman

Meetings: Unity Board meetings are typically held on the third Monday of each month during the school year.

April 2017 Unity Board Meeting Summary

The Hastings Catholic Schools Unity Board met on Monday, April 17, 2017 at 7:00 for a regular meeting. George Toman presented an update to the Bullying and Harassment Policy. Changes included adding the systematic approach of Virtue Based Restorative Discipline (VBRD) into the process. The policy was approved.

Hauli Sabatka gave a report regarding the feasibility study that was completed to get feedback for a new or remodeled building. The feedback will help with planning and provided valuable information for administrators, including finding ways to improve teacher pay. Another survey may be completed in the near future.

Mrs. VanCura gave an update about the middle and high school retreat day held the Wednesday prior to Easter break. All students began the day with Mass with HS heading to their retreat and MS heading to Hearts and Hands Against Hunger to pack meals. Middle school completed other service activities at the school, CSS, or College View. Father Sughroue and Miss LeDuc set up a day filled with multiple speakers, allowing high school students to choose two of the four speaker sessions.

Graduation will be held on Mother's Day with Bishop Conley to speak.

Member transition will be in June. Suzanne Greenquist was retained in office via an online vote.

Three people have been nominated for the 2017-2019 term: Marlene Burkhart and Michael Schaefer from STC parish to replace Dave Hamburger and Shari Kuzelka and Jeremy Evans from STM parish to replace Jamie Schmidt. The Board approved these candidates with an online and paper ballot vote at the parishes to be held the beginning of May. Traditionally there have been more candidates than the open slots.

Father Brouillette gave an update regarding teacher pay compared to the local public schools. Father also noted the continuing education/training available for teachers. The school is in the process of looking for a new bus for purchase.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 15 at 7:00 PM.


History of the Unity Board

The Unity Board was developed in 2011 out of a need to connect the local school community and the school administration, foster better communication and active cooperation, and develop a more structured system. The Board was developed at that time to reverse the negative enrollment, financial, and school culture trend and to strategically plan for the bright future of Hastings Catholic Schools. Thanks to the grace of God and these efforts, the Unity Board, school, and parishes are pleased to report strong positive trends for HCS!

The following is a brief timeline highlighting the history of the Unity Board and its accomplishments:

2011 Initiated HCS Community-Wide Discussions
2011 Held First Elections
2011 Developed By-Laws
2011 Developed Unity Board Committees
2011 Began Annual Appeal and Consolidation of Fundraising
2011 Began Having a Balanced Budget
2012 Presented and Implemented Tuition Policy
2012 Adopted a New School Crest/Logo
2012 Hired an Enrollment Coordinator
2013 Hired Lay Person as St. Michael's Principal
2013 Purchased CRM Software, Little Green Light, to Better Track Fundraising and Enrollment Efforts
2013 Decided to Pursue Implementation of Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline
2014 Began Strategic Plan Development with Input from a Cross-Section of Stakeholders
2014 Implemented a Child Care Program
2014 Developed and Adopted a Co-Op Policy
2014 Enrollment Trend Was Positive for First Time in 10 Years
2014 Implemented Campus Ministry
2014 Dedicated Staff Time to Campus Ministry (0.5 FTE)
2014 Paid Off Over $1 Million in Debt Over Past 4 Years
2015 St. Cecilia Principal and Assistant Principal Position Combined, Served by Lay Person

Purpose of the Unity Board

  • Study and investigate issues relevant to the operation of HCS including, but not limited to, finance, facilities, faith, school experience, and enrollment and marketing
  • Assist the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO - formerly called Superintendent) in his duties by providing advice and serving as a sounding board
  • Serve as a conduit of communication between the school administration and the school community
  • Act as an energetic and dynamic leadership group to advance the vision of the Hastings Catholic School system and to advise and assist the CAO in his duties as the delegate of the Ordinary of the Diocese of Lincoln and administrator of the schools, by designing, authoring, and approving policies that will be recommended to be used to guide and shape the operations of HCS

Unity Board Committees

  1. Executive Committee (composed of the President, Vice President, Secretary, CAO, St. Cecilia Parish Pastor, and St. Michael's Parish Pastor)
    • HCS Handbook and Policy Committee
    • Strategic Planning
    • Human Resources
    • Research
  2. Finance
    • Income Development
    • Capital Development
  3. Faith
    • Stewardship and Catholic Identity
  4. School Experience
    • Academic Development
    • Activities
    • Diversity Outreach
  5. Facilities
  6. Enrollment and Marketing
    • Community Relations

Additionally a Unity Board representative from the St. Cecilia and St. Michael's Parishes will be requested to also represent the Unity Board at Parish Council meetings.