Nothing is official yet, but the South Tama County School District could be changing conferences as soon as August.
On Friday morning, the STC Board of Education met in a brief meeting to vote on the invitation from the WaMac Conference. The meeting was called after the school board discussed the item in December and again last Wednesday. The board voted 3-1 to accept the WaMac invitation. Board Member Ron Hala voted against the motion, while Board Member Anne Michael wasn't at the meeting.
"We did not seek out this opportunity," Superintendent Kerri Nelson said. "We were invited by the WaMac Conference to join them. That came in December with a deadline of deciding by today. That's the urgency of the decision.
South Tama School Board members.
"It's an invitation to be considered to become a member," she added. "We had to agree that yes we'd like them to consider us, but they haven't made a decision on whether or not we've been accepted or not. I do know that we were not the only school considered."
As of Friday afternoon, Nelson had informed the WaMac of the school board's decision to accept the invitation. However, she hadn't heard back about which school was chosen to join the conference.
South Tama County was a member of the WaMac years ago, before the Little Hawkeye Conference and the current North Iowa Cedar League. STC joined the NICL at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year and has had success in many conference sports. STC is the largest school in the conference.
"It's a very tough decision for everyone here," Activities Director Jim Plantz said. "I have my personal thoughts and my thoughts as an administrator. I can see two sides to it. If you're going to equate success totally from wins and losses, then I'd say the NICL is probably the place to be. If you're going to equate success from the challenges you have to take on an equal basis, then I'd say the WaMac is the place to be."
Plantz and Nelson said both conferences have advantages and disadvantages to them, such as travel or size of schools in the conference. Nelson said she didn't want to elaborate too much before she knew if the STC district was accepted in the WaMac, but she did say this Friday.
"The main thing we were looking at is the conference has more opportunities for our kids," Nelson said. "That's essentially at the middle school level."
Plantz also talked about that topic.
"One thing it allows is for a little more opportunities, as far as some areas, whether it's spring sports, underclassmen, sub varsity and middle school sports or fine arts," he said. "I think the WaMac would give us a little bit more detailed type of participation."
If South Tama County is accepted into the WaMac, it would likely be placed in the western division, as it is in the NICL. The closest schools in the division are Benton Community and Vinton-Shellsburg.
"We will be very familiar with a lot of the teams we will play," Plantz said. "Some of them we never got away from, like Benton and Vinton-Shellsburg."
Nelson said she hopes for a decision this week, but isn't sure when that decision from the WaMac schools will be announced.