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Nevis School Board approves superintendent contract

Gregg Parks will continue his position as Nevis School’s superintendent for three more years.

Nevis SchoolExterior.jpg
As COVID restrictions have eased and case numbers lowered, parents now have more access to the school.
Enterprise file photo.

The 2022-25 superintendent contract was approved at Monday night’s school board meeting and includes a 3% annual increase on base salary, in alignment with the 3-5% pay raises negotiated for all district employees.

The contract also increases the district's insurance contribution by $2,000 to keep pace with rising premiums, as the amount has not been adjusted in the past three years; increases the 403(b) contribution by $2,000 and changes the bereavement leave language to match what is in the contract with the classified union.

Staff changes

Several staff changes were approved by the board. Grade 7-12 English teacher LouAnn Muhm will be retiring at the end of this school year after 23 years with the district.

Special education teacher Cody Cox is resigning at the end of the 2021-22 school year to pursue a position closer to his home.

Grade 7-12 agriculture teacher Ashley Anderson and community education coordinator Katie Rittgers are also resigning at the end of the 2021-22 school year.

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Educational assistant Mel Spry requested a medical leave of absence of up to one year to care for an ailing relative.

The board approved contracts with Rebecca Ewert for the position of K-12 special education teacher, and Roxanne Wattenberg for the nine-month custodian position.

The board also approved an increase in the substitute teacher pay to $140 per day and $70 for a half-day, rather than paying by the hour.

More school access

Board member Ed Becker reported that one issue shared at the community listening session, held prior to the school board meeting, was that people would like more access to the school now that COVID case numbers are down in the area.

Parks said this is happening, noting parents had the option to come in for parent-teacher conferences or do a Zoom conference.

“If a parent has a 9-month old and a 2-year-old and a first grader, a virtual Zoom meeting can make it easier, so we’re going to continue that option,” principal Brian Michaelson said.

Michaelson said the school held their first all-school pep fests recently, and field trips are also resuming, with grades K-3 planning to attend a performance of “Frozen” at the Bemidji Theater and a field trip to the Shrine Circus for students in kindergarten, third and sixth grades.

“And the drinking fountains have been turned on,” he said. “To put it in perspective, kids in kindergarten and first grade never drank from a fountain before.”

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Fountains have been turned off since the fall of 2020.

Michaelson reported more elementary student absences have been reported due to families going on vacation. “I think after the last year or so, with restrictions coming off, families want to spread their wings and relax,” he said.

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Related Topics: NEVIS SCHOOL DISTRICT
Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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