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Staff changes approved at Nevis School

In preparation for the new school year, the Nevis School Board also approved several staff changes.

Nevis School
Nevis School
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Elementary teacher Paul Schroeder, who has been with the district for 36 years, plans to retire March 17, 2023. The board approved his “intent to retire” request at Monday’s meeting.

“Paul has been a valuable member of our Tiger Community since May 1986,” Superintendent Gregg Parks said. “His contributions to the district are immeasurable. We wish him well in retirement.”

In preparation for the new school year, the board also approved several staff changes.

The board approved an independent contract with Stacey Offerdahl for the position of assistant school readiness teacher.

In the transportation department, the board approved an independent contract with Joel Kopkie of Red Shed Repairs in Nevis for mechanic services at $60 per hour. He will be conducting maintenance and preventative maintenance on buses, type III vehicles and small engine equipment. The contract is to be renewed annually.

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The board also approved work agreements with transportation coordinator Dan Stacey and assistant transportation coordinator Dacle Schmid. Stacey will share part of his assignment with Schmid, who will take on the duties of finding sub-bus drivers and assigning drivers for extracurricular trips. As a result, $3,000 will be subtracted from Stacey's work agreement and Schmid will receive an additional annual salary of $3,000.

Since Megan Henry has been hired as a Tier 2 speech language pathologist, the district canceled its online and assistant speech language pathologist contracts. Henry has five years of experience as a speech language pathologist assistant. She will be operating under a tiered license while she completes coursework to become a speech language pathologist.

The board accepted the resignation of assistant cook Dale Kosmacek, who worked for the district during the 2021-22 school year, and approved Bonnie Barr to fill the position.

Educational assistants approved by the board were Caroline Koch, Kathryn Gorecki and Ashley Prendiz.

Janet-Golden Landquist will be returning for a short-term substitute teaching assignment for a faculty member who is on leave for the month of September.

Promoting recycling

During the guest comment section of the meeting, Jim Lien said he would like to promote awareness of recycling at school sporting events.

“Less than 10 percent of recyclable materials in the U.S. are recycled annually,” he said. “That means 90 percent of them are incinerated or buried in a landfill. People don’t recycle because they think it’s too difficult or doesn’t make a difference. However, if one plastic bottle per U.S. citizen is not recycled every four months, that means four billion bottles.”

He said, while the school has placed recycling bins by each of the gym doors, use of them has been somewhat limited.

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Lien suggested students could design large colorful posters identifying what items can be recycled (plastic, metal, paper and glass) and place them above the recycling containers. In addition, programs at sporting events could add “please recycle.” Announcers at games could also encourage people to use the recycling containers.

“This would be beneficial to the district and cut down on waste,” he said.

In other action, the board:

  • Heard enrollment is up from 583 last spring to 603 now, mainly due to new families moving into the district. 
  • Heard the air quality control project is mostly completed. 
  • Approved a student teaching contract with Suki Peterson from Southwest Minnesota State University.
  • Heard that homecoming week will be Sept. 18-23.
  • Heard that the student council will be supporting Liam Gustafson’s Tiger Skate Park.
  • Heard the district’s cash balance at the end of July was $2,214,041.
  • Heard school board members have been asked to share information about student council involvement in the district at the Minnesota School Board Association meeting.
  • Reviewed the Return to Learn plan and approved the learning model for the start of the year. The last significant change to the plan was in March when the requirement for masking on buses was removed. 
  • Heard the student Costa Rica trip has been postponed from 2023 to 2024 due to a trip overlap with the band/choir trip to Texas, scheduled for the spring of 2023, which involves many of the same students who were planning to go to Costa Rica.

The next school board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26 in the school media center. A listening session with one board member present will be held in the school cafeteria from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m.

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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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