Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert

The New-Look Dodson School

From the Facility to the Faculty the Home of the Coyotes is ready for the Future


October 31, 2018

If you haven't been to Dodson School in a while, you might be surprised by how much things can change in just three years.

The PCN put out a question to all Phillips County Schools in August asking superintendents for any updates that might have taken place at their respective campuses over the summer. Dodson Schools Superintendent Gary Weitz responded with a laundry-list of improvements at the home of the Coyotes, from staff hires to swing sets and from technology to a new concession facility, Dodson School is looking polished and professional as they head into the future.

"When PCN Publisher Mark Hebert sent out that email, those of Dodson asked, 'where do we start," Supt. Weitz said. "Welcome to the new-look Dodson Schools."

Weitz said the staff at Dodson School has been transformed in recent years and he and the Dodson School Board - comprised of Bonnie Lankford, Iris KillEagle, Berta Anderson, Jessica Fetter, and Lisa Ball - are committed to providing a positive culture and workplace at the campus and believe that starts with the school's faculty and staff.

"We now have a team-oriented group of teachers and support personnel that are competent and committed to Dodson Public School," Supt. Weitz said. "We are proud of our school and the direction with which it is going. The Dodson Public School Board should be commended for their support. They listen and have "students first" at the forefront."

As for the campus itself, Supt. Weitz started with the upgrades to the school's technology. He said the technology infrastructure was failing and in need of repair in 2015 and in 2016, the installation of a completely new infrastructure took place.

"This enabled all technology on the campus to operate at a high level and provided teachers efficient and dependable supplemental instruction to their students," he said. "Administrative and classroom technology tools in the building now operate with efficiency, speed, and clarity."

New laptop computers were added to every classroom and every employee workstation throughout the campus in the fall of 2017, two computer labs are now equipped with modern computer stations and hardware, and all 7-12 grade students attending the Dodson School District possess a chrome book for use throughout the school day. All K-6 students have access to individual iPads to assist teachers in meeting the individual reading, writing and math needs of every child. Each classroom is equipped with a modern up to date Touch Smart or Smart Board.

As for facility changes and improvements, Dodson School has been transformed in the past few years. New bleachers in the school's gymnasium - emblazed with the letters "DHS"- and new gymnasium floor have been installed on the south west corner of the campus. Included in the amenities in the gym area is a new weight and fitness room which accommodate students, staff and the community of Dodson as a whole. Supt. Weitz said consulting and installation in the room was provided by B FIT FOR LIFE located in Billings, Mont., and has assisted the school greatly in the completion of this facility.

"And kudos also to Art's Furniture in Malta and Doll's Glass out of Havre," Supt. Weitz added.

Also located in that wing of the school are several elementary classes which received new flooring and guests enter the lunchroom to make their way to the gym for sporting events, a brand-new concession stand greets them.

The original structure of the school - that which houses the admin offices, and much of the middle and high school - had new windows, and flooring installed, and the outside of the building has new gold and green trim. The entire perimeter of the building has seen the removal and replacement of new steel, fire-proof, six-panel doors (a total of seven...painted gold and green by teacher Wendy Hopkins.) The entire north and south side of the main building to the campus has new energy efficient windows installed on both levels providing a cleaner and neater look to the building as well. Last, but not least (as far as the students are concerned) are new outdoor basketball courts which were installed in the summer of 2016 and 2017 and new green and gold swing sets.

Supt. Weitz thanked Doll's Glass, Havre, Arts Furniture, Malta, MEC Electric (Steve and Tim), Malta, Naults Plumbing, Havre, Gaffney and Associates, Saco, Ezzies (Steve), Malta, B FIT FOR LIFE, Billings, Hardware Hank, Malta, Grasshopper Mowing (Brian), Malta, for all the work and support they have done and provided for Dodson Schools.

"Each of these businesses have treated us with professionalism and swift and courteous service in all of our contacts," he said. "We look forward to doing business with all of you well into the future as we continue to improve and maintain our school every day."


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