Two new teachers will be joining the staff at Nevis School this fall.
Kevin Longtin will be teaching high school science classes. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree from Bemidji State University in aquatic biology, along with a minor in wetlands ecology. After attending BSU, Mr. Longtin obtained his master’s degree in educational leadership from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. He taught physical science classes for the past three years in Warren-Alvarado-Oslo High School.
Longtin says he fell in love with the area while completing an internship with the fisheries department in Park Rapids. An avid fisherman and waterfowl hunter, he enjoys spending his free time on the lake with his wife, Michaela, and golden retrievers, Max and Riley.
Doris Hall will be teaching fifth through seventh grade special education. She comes to Nevis with 16 years of special education teaching experience in Minnesota and Montana.
Hall graduated from St. Cloud State with a major in special education and minor in music. Outside of teaching she enjoys time outdoors, traveling with her husband and connecting with her sons in New York, California and Minnesota.
Jenny Rittgers will be the school nurse this year. She is a licensed RN and public health nurse and has 10 years of nursing experience. Rittgers earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Bemidji State University. She enjoys spending time with family outdoors.
A familiar face at Nevis School will be missing, following the school board’s acceptance of the resignation of media specialist Sharon Gunkel.
“Sharon has been a valuable asset to our school for 21 years,” Superintendent Gregg Parks said. “She has helped our media center evolve into the 21st century. We wish her well in her retirement and thank her for her many contributions to our learning community. We’re thankful for all of her years of service and will definitely miss her.”
The board approved removing the media specialist position from the teaching positions within the district.
“There is not a need for a teacher with a master's degree to operate the facility,” Parks said. “We believe there are qualified individuals without a license. Most schools in our region have a paraprofessional operating the media center.”
The board also approved a one-year leave of absence for high school Spanish teacher Beth Durgin. The district is looking at several options including online or virtual classes.
In other action, the board:
Approved the first reading of the district’s face covering policy that is on the school website. Vented masks will not be allowed, and images or wording on the masks will fall under dress code guidelines.
Learned additional funding the district received for COVID-19 expenses is being used for tutors, homework help lines, masks, barriers, hand sanitizer and other needed items.
Approved student and staff handbooks. One change in the student handbook highlighted is that students in Pre-K and kindergarten will not be dropped off unless an adult or older sibling is present.
Discussed having the building trades class build a pole barn by the bus garage for district vehicles and storage.
Heard enrollment is about the same as last year.
Approved 2020-21 advisor and coaching contracts for Tiffany Besonen (art club), Melinda Crimmins (FCCLA, prom), Jennifer Geraedts (one-act, co-three-act), Lynne Gustafson (co-student council, yearbook), Noelle Johnson (co-three-act, pep band), Lisa Moses (jazz band), LouAnn Muhm (Knowledge Bowl), Jodi Sandmeyer (co-student council), McKenzie Harris (co-robotics, assistant golf), Kay Netteberg (co-robotics), Olaf Netteberg (co-robotics, golf), Dustin Wroolie (co-robotics), Tom Stambaugh (cross country, assistant track), Mike DeWulf (co-assistant football), Larry Franck (co-assistant football), Chris Haar (junior high football), Shawn Klimek (head football, junior high baseball), Karly Drury Cobbs (assistant volleyball), Emily Franck (junior high volleyball, assistant softball),Heidi Wormley (head volleyball), Tom Ahrendt (junior high boys basketball), Brian DeWitt (junior high boys basketball), Bill Dent (assistant boys basketball, head baseball), Scott Kramer (head boys basketball, junior high baseball), Michael Weerts (junior high girls basketball, head softball), Larry Franck (junior high girls basketball, assistant baseball), Crystal Bessler (assistant girls basketball), Paul Schroeder (head girls basketball), Stacey Offerdahl (junior high softball) and Jennifer McNamee (head track).
Approved work agreements with bus drivers Jamie Nevins, Jim Hawes and Scott Parslow and hiring Amber Gordon, Levi Schwartz and Cathy Neas for paraprofessional positions.
Approved payment of bills totaling $195,220.
Heard there will be no TARGET program this year, as there is no advisor.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28 in the school media center and on Zoom.