The Kingsland School Board met on April 18. Members present included Cindy Seabright, Maranda Emig, Kyle Rader, and Jackie Horsman. Superintendent Jim Hecimovich and Natasha Howard were absent. Mabel-Canton’s Superintendent, Gary Kuphal, participated in the meeting, as he is filling in as interim Superintendent during Hecimovich’s leave of absence.
Due to the recent resignation of Gwen Howard from the board, the board discussed options for filling that vacancy. Horsman explained that she checked with the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) and was instructed that the board is allowed to simply appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the next election. She added, “And they have to wait 30 days from the board approving the appointment before they can be seated.”
Horsman shared that filling the current vacancy is a very short-term solution (whoever wins the seat in the November election will be seated beginning in January 2023), so she suggested considering persons who have already been trained to serve on the board. She then asked for any nominations, and Kyle Rader nominated Pam Freet. He stated, “She’s done all of her training, she’s done a year on the board, she’s interested in coming back.” The board voted to appoint her to fill the temporary vacancy. Horsman and Kuphal will contact her to see if she will accept the appointment.
The board also returned to a recently discussed item: considering whether or not to increase the standard size of the board, from six to seven members. The board voted to put the matter on the ballot for voters in the district to decide this fall.
Principal Scott Klavetter informed the board that he’s been contacted by Don Kullot, who serves as Fillmore County Emergency Management Coordinator. Klavetter stated, “He is working to try to get the city of Spring Valley an emergency declaration from the storm damage last week.” According to Klavetter, if the emergency declaration is granted, it would also cover Kingsland, and “State funds would cover 75% of our deductible” for any repairs or replacements Kingsland makes on items damaged in the storm. Klavetter concluded, “So a big thanks to Don for reaching out.”
The board approved a three-year contract with Scott Klavetter, who will begin serving as Superintendent effective July 1.
Kuphal gave an update on Kingsland’s progress in working to fill the Principal position that Klavetter’s promotion will create. Kuphal said Kingsland plans to use a “teamwork approach” to garner input from a wide range of staff and interested parties in making the best hiring decision. He said the school board generally isn’t involved in the screening or interviewing process for any school personnel other than superintendent. Kuphal said ideally, interviews would happen between April 22 and 28, with a hiring decision hopefully on April 28.
Kuphal said the team will make a hiring recommendation, but the final hiring decision will be made by the superintendent. Kuphal and Klavetter will consult and work closely together on that step. However, he said it’s extremely rare that a team’s recommendation would vary from the superintendent’s decision. Kuphal stated, “Good quality is good quality, and everybody sees it.”
Dan Armagost, Executive Director of SMEC (Southern Minnesota Education Consortium) gave a summary of the recent audit of SMEC. He stated that the audit resulted in a “clean opinion” and he summarized that overall, SMEC has seen “quite a jump” in overall revenues and growth.
Kingsland’s next school board meetings will be a “work session” on Monday, May 2 at 6 p.m., and a regular session on Monday, May 16 at 6 p.m.