School board approves Fritze resignation

The Park Rapids School Board took boys varsity swimming coach Todd Fritze’s resignation off the table Monday.

On July 8, the school board tabled Fritze’s resignation to allow discussion about whether a leave of absence would be more appropriate. Superintendent Lance Bagstad had said Fritze was open to either outcome, and that he was stepping away from the position to watch his son dive for South Dakota State University.

Board member Dennis Dodge moved to accept Fritze’s resignation. In discussion of the motion, board member Gary Gauldin said that he would like to see Activities Director Jeremy Nordick authorized to post and fill the position. The motion passed without opposition.

In consent items and general business, the school board:

  • Approved the resignation of Karen Branstram as middle school paraprofessional and eighth-hour coordinator.

  • Approved the retirement of Gene Kurtti, with regret and thanks for his 22 years of service to the district.

  • Hired Clare Knudsen as a half-time ADSIS interventionist for school years 2019-20 and 2020-21, Shalom Grandy as a half-time homebound teacher, and Mary Harvala as a paraprofessional.

  • Approved second readings of school, activities, employee, technology and activities handbooks, the student code of conduct and discipline policy and the coaches manual for the 2019-20 school year.

  • Approved agreements with M State Community and Technical College and Bemidji State University for Postsecondary Enrollment Options services.

  • Approved 2019-21 contracts for transportation supervisor, building and grounds supervisor, community education director, technology/network system coordinator, food service supervisor and special education director.

  • Approved the district’s long-term facilities maintenance 10-year plan by a unanimous roll-call vote.

  • Wrote off the district’s uncollectable food service debt of $2,212.

  • Acknowledged donations to the Football Scoreboard Partnership, including $22,500 each from Citizens National Bank and Edward Jones Investments; $10,000 each from Northway Insurance, Affinity Real Estate and CHI St. Joseph’s Health; $9,500 each from Northwoods Bank and the Park Rapids Education and Activities Foundation; and $7,000 each from Arvig Communications and the Park Rapids Rotary. Nordick said the scoreboard will be delivered on Aug. 15.

The school board’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5 at the Frank White Education Center.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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