At the June 14 school board meeting, board members Jill Harstad, David Sowinski, Mark Johnsrud, Katie Priebe and Tom Keefe were present as well as Superintendent Ed Harris, Lorri Lowery, administrative assistant and Trista O’Connor, business manager. Board member Josh Thompson and both principals, Shane McBroom and Eric Nelson were not in attendance.
The following items were approved under the consent agenda:
• Designated the official newspaper as The Chatfield News Co., official legal counsel as Ratwick, Rozak, Maloney and Bartel, and the official depositories as Root River State Bank and Minnesota Liquid Asset Fund
• New hires: Rinnea Kreter, administrative assistant to the superintendent; Carter Duxbury, high school summer school teacher; Jacob Stevens, summer cleaning crew; Nathaniel Fox, Alaina Armstrong, Kassi Cooper, Elma Erding, Aubrey Nielsen, Deborah Long, Macy Pederson and Dean Meier for Valleyland.
• Other new hires were: Bailee Loberg, kindergarten teacher; Katie Schumann, Lisa Erding and Crystal Jorgensen, ESY paras; Amanda Priebe, JV volleyball coach.
• Accepted the resignation of Luann Klevan, 504 Coordinator, Wellness Coordinator and District Assessment Coordinator and Ben Volker, Service Club Advisor.
• Approved Summer Community Education new hires: Luke Wilson, soccer coach; Julie Sogla, basketball coach; Katie Priebe, track coach; Eric Jenneke, disc golf coach and Catherine Miller, T-ball coordinator.
Under board committee reports, Tom Keefe stated that HVED is in the process of buying a property in Winona to consolidate all of it programs and staff and that at the next board meeting they may be required to vote on this. Katie Priebe had just attended the Activities Committee previous to the board meeting. This committee meets once a year with all of the coaches and other youth program volunteers. She said items discussed were space issues and what can be done to alleviate them. The youth program has been a strong attribute to our community. There was some discussion about getting more parents involved in the committee as many of the participants are “aging out” as their children graduate.
Superintendent Harris thanked Lorri Lowrey for her many years of service as his administrative assistant as she will be moving. He expounded on her many attributes that made her such a valuable team player. She will be missed. He then introduced Rinnea Kreter, who will be the new administrative assistant to the superintendent. In other issues in his report, he has called a special meeting of the board on July 12, 2023 to review considerations related to long range budget and facility planning. Specific items to be discussed will be the deficit spending curve, athletic facilities and maintenance.
Under Action Items the following were approved:
• MSHSL Membership Renewal Resolution
• 2023-2024 Activity Fund fundraisers
• 2024 Adopted Budget – this is a preliminary budget that will adjust later in the year as enrollment figures are set. There will be some deficit spending but it will be manageable. The legislature did add monies to education but it also changed the status of preschool staff and assistants to teacher salary status. Unemployment benefits for seasonal staff and child care leave changes will also see expenditures increase. Superintendent Harris stated this will be a learning year with all the new changes that will have an effect on the budget.
• Student Support Services Coordinator – with additional funding by the legislature for student support personnel (counselor or social worker), this position could also include the 504 coordinator, Wellness Coordinator and the Assessment Coordinator with little impact on the general budget.
The meeting was adjourned. The next school board meeting will be on July 12 in the high school Forum room at 7 p.m.