Farmington school board hears PV sports update

Board members approved the 2014-2014 school year financial audit during Thursday's meeting.

Joshua Kellogg
The Piedra Vista volleyball team celebrates after scoring a point against Farmington High School during an Oct. 1 match at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

FARMINGTON – The Farmington Municipal School District Board of Education approved the district’s financial audit and received an update on Piedra Vista High School’s sports schedule for the next school year on Thursday.

District Athletic Director Frank Whalen gave a report to the board members during Thursday’s work session on his efforts to schedule games for Farmington High School and Piedra Vista.

The New Mexico Activities Association approved class and district realignments for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years on Nov. 19, which bumped Piedra Vista to 6A while Farmington remained in 5A.

Whalen met with athletic directors on Dec. 2 to set the District 1-5A games for Farmington and will meet in January to sort out the schedules for Piedra Vista and other schools in District 1-6A.

In preliminary conversations with other District 1-6A athletic directors, Whalen said he is working to limit the amount of travel to Albuquerque and surrounding cities, including Rio Rancho, for Piedra Vista teams during the school week.

Basketball games might be scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays, while schedules for soccer and volleyball need more work, according to Whalen.

District 1-6A soccer matches are usually played on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which Whalen said is a problem because many coaches and players attend church on Wednesday nights.

Whalen thought volleyball might have a similar schedule to basketball, with matches taking place on Fridays and Saturdays, but he said volleyball matches on Fridays would conflict with football.

“It’s going to be a challenge, but I think the school is up for it,” Whalen said during his report. “This could be a challenge for scheduling and keeping them from traveling during the week.”

Piedra Vista Principal Dave Golden said the school is up for the challenge and sees the classification change having less of an effect on activities like JROTC and choir.

“(The students) work very hard. They see what they are up against and rise to that level,” Golden said.

Golden said there will be more expenses because of increased travel, but the district is working on a plan to address that.

Board members approved the district’s 2014-2015 school year financial audit during their meeting after the work session. Terry Ogle, an accountant and partner with Accounting and Financial Solutions LLC, gave a summary of the report, which included one finding.

Randy Bondow, the district's chief financial officer, said the finding was related to a Federal Clearing House report not filed by the previous auditor, certified public accountant Dave Berry.

“He thought he submitted it, but it fell through the cracks somehow,” Bondow said.

The district did not have a finding in its financial audit from two years ago, which was highlighted in a report by the New Mexico State Auditor's office called "The Findings Report: A Summary of New Mexico’s Governmental Financial Audits." It stated Farmington schools was one of 11 districts statewide with zero findings on its financial audit report for the 2013-2014 school year.

“We’re very proud of that,” Bondow said. “It takes a lot of hard work from everybody involved throughout the district to make it happen. It’s a very good feeling. “

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.