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Park Rapids Area High School principal and math teacher to retire after 20 years; two longtime teachers to leave

Three retirements were announced Monday at the Park Rapids Area School Board meeting.

High school principal Al Judson, who has worked for the district for 20 years as a math teacher then principal, announced his plans to retire at the end of the school year.

Fourth-grade teacher Jo Judson, who has 24 years with the district, will also retire at the end of the school year.

Cathy Peterson, health teacher, will retire after 32 years of service with the district.

These retirements will be taken into account as administration looks at where reductions can be made, said Superintendent Glenn Chiodo.

In some cases there are opportunities to not hire new, he said. Chiodo and business manager Carol Hutchinson have been working on the budget and will give an update at an upcoming meeting.

The board also discussed state funding issues.

Chiodo said that although Park Rapids won't be affected by the most recent announcement that state aid payments to some school districts will be delayed this spring, there are still questions about the future.

"What will happen with the 27 percent already delayed?" he asked. "No district will be immune."

Board chair Sherry Safratowich also wondered what will happen in the future.

"It will just be a bigger problem down the line," she said about the state pushing the budget mess further into the future.

Enrollment continues to be steady, with a little increase, which is good news for Park Rapids' budget, Chiodo said.

The situation for Park Rapids is better than it was several years ago, he added.

In other business, the board:

n Honored AFSCME employee of the year, Monica Hooker.

n Approved teacher lane changes for Val Burton (MA 10/12 to MA 20/12), Josh Cook (MA/5 to MA 20/5), Marion Goeden (MA 20/12 to MA 30/12), Alyssa Lavoie (BA 10/5 to BA 20/5), Aaron Morris (BA 30/4 to MA/4), Dawn Penning (MA 12 to MA 10/12), Tina Ridlon (MA/4 to MA 10/4) and Jodi Trnka-Erickson (MA 20/12 to MA 30/12).

n Accepted donations to elementary physical education from Rotaract ($200) and Ace Hardware ($20); to PRAS Internet Account from ACS Communications ($865) and to Park Rapids choir from Michael and Debbie Yennie ($50).

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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