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Nevis Wall of Champs to include 'honorable mention'

Nevis School's Wall of Champions will once again bear the names of students earning Honorable Mention status.

"With an apology to the students whose names were taken down," board member Gary Stennes added.

In June, the school board agreed the Wall of Champions in the Tiger Lobby would be a permanent display for students receiving All State classification in all activities, not simply sports but band, choir, theater, science fair, Envirothon, robotics, Knowledge Bowl LifeSmarts and FCCLA.

The school was in the process of "realigning" the space for its centennial celebration, Heidi Wormley explained of the decision. She presented the request for a review of the decision.

As a volleyball coach, "I had players earn Honorable Mention status who were one of two thousand candidates," she told the board.

"I want to make sure they are recognized," she said. "Teachers, coaches and parents are strongly in favor of this."

The board agreed and reversed their earlier decision, "with apologies."

The decision affects 16 students in the school's 100-year history, most unaware of their temporary loss of stature.

In other action, the board:

• Heard congratulations on the school's receipt of the $500,000 grant to build the Early Childhood facility.

"From my experience, there are not many of these grants awarded," said Leah Pigatti, executive director of MAHUBE-OTWA, a non-profit corporation providing services to low income and elderly persons in a five-county area.

"Head Start is one of our largest and very popular programs," she said of comprehensive services for pregnant moms and families with children age birth to 5 years, which will be based in the facility.

Twenty children are currently served by Head Start in the Nevis School District.

"Head Start is an extension of the school," said Margaret Aho, director of Head Start. The program offers children a smooth transition into the school setting.

"Thank you for the partnership."

• Reported a "virtual academic tour" is being produced for the school's website to introduce viewers to the district's educational attributes.

• Learned plans to locate a digital sign on Highway 34 to advertise school events will be ditched.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation advised the school there is no legal location for the off-premise sign, the scenic byway status of the highway further nullifying the proposal.

• Accepted a $25,994 quote for a digital radio system for school buses from Roger's Two Way Radio in Bemidji.

The school will purchase 15 digital radios with GPS capabilities, a repeater system for increased coverage and four hand-held radios that will be used by school staff to communicate with bus drivers.

Plans call for mounting an antenna on the city water tower.

• Reported enrollment has increased to 548 students, 12 students recently transferring from Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.

This compares with 515 students at the end of the school year in May.

Kindergarten and second and eleventh grades are now closed to open enrollment.

• Accepted the resignation of Stephanie Hanson as head volleyball coach, commending her for "her work and dedication in making our volleyball program one of the elite programs in the state."

Approved Mike Lien as assistant boys basketball coach and Bill Toft junior high coach.

Leah Walters will serve as assistant girls basketball coach, Naomi Moss as junior high coach.

Knowledge Bowl coordinator is LouAnn Muhm and Shelly Mahowald will be the one-act play director.

Stephanie Houchin was approved as an extra-curricular transportation driver.