WAPELLO — The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions throughout the world and that now includes the status of the 2020 Wapello FFA Pro Rodeo. Despite the uncertainty however, planning for the mid-July event has continued, the Wapello School Board learned during a special board meeting that was streamed live on Facebook Wednesday.
Although the ultimate decision on whether or not to hold the event this year may hinge on Iowa Governor Kim Reynold’s plans for re-opening the state, the school board did learn rodeo organizers can continue to count on former FFA advisor Danielle Wolfe’s help.
Wolfe’s resignation from her position was accepted by the board Wednesday, but responding to a question from board member Duane Boysen, Wolfe said she would continue to help with the event.
“I’m not going to leave the kids high and dry,” she assured the board.
Wolfe pointed out Reynolds had just announced earlier in the day that students and teachers would be allowed to have contact again after June 1, so that opened more opportunities, but everything still hinged on Reynolds final decision.
“If the governor shuts us down completely, the video board (contractor) said we will skip this year and we’ll roll your contract on for another year,” Wolfe said.
Other contractors, including Barnes PRCA Rodeo, have indicated they will continue to work with the FFA, Wolfe said.
She also reported the FFA had sent a letter to local sponsors to determine how they wanted to proceed.
“If they are not okay, we can’t afford the rodeo,” she said.
Former FFA advisor Irv Meier said the initial response from the sponsors appeared positive.
“It doesn’t look like we are losing a lot of sponsors,” he told the board.
Boysen, whose wife Jodi operates a local floral and gift shop, said she was continuing to support the rodeo.
“My wife says plan as normal and she is going to keep her same sponsorship. I hope they are all that way and then if the governor says we can’t do it, then we’ll have to do something different,” Boysen said.
Wolfe said another possibility for the rodeo would be to reschedule it to a later date, possibly in September and combining it with homecoming.
“Barnes is willing to work with us on that too. It really depends on what COVID plans to do,” she said, adding that a specialty motorcycle performer had also indicated a willingness to work with the group.
We’ll keep everyone informed, Wolfe and Meier assured the board.
Meanwhile, Wolfe said she would be willing to provide an exit interview before she leaves the district.
Boysen requested the interview, explaining Wolfe had been an outstanding teacher and he wanted to learn if there was anything the district could have done differently to have kept her.
According to Wolfe’s resignation letter, she quit after accepting a high school counselor position in another district and to pursue a master’s degree in school counseling.
In other action, the board accepted a $22,272 bid from FLR Sanders, Inc, Princeton, MN., to sand refinish the high school gym floor. The work is expected to be completed before school will resume this fall.
The board also reviewed several issues that will be placed on the agenda for the board’s regular meeting on May 27.
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