Mabel-Canton School Board offered Gary A. Kuphal the position of Superintendent for Independent School District #238. After a closed-door session, the school board unanimously approved offering Kuphal the position at $500 per day for 105 days, and contributions made to his 403(b) retirement fund. This offer is contingent on Kuphal’s formal acceptance. Kuphal would replace Jennifer Backer who resigned in May after a four-year stint with Mabel-Canton Schools.
Kuphal retired as superintendent of Plainview-Elgin-Millville School District after eight years of service. Prior to that, he was superintendent for LeRoy-Ostrander and Southland School Districts and adjunct professor for St. Mary’s and Winona State Universities. For 19 years, Kuphal held a variety of positions for La Crescent-Hokah School District, including principal and assistant principal. Kuphal and his wife, Carol, live in La Crescent. The school board is hopeful that Kuphal will accept the offer.
On Wednesday, August 30 from 4-7 p.m., Mabel-Canton Schools will be holding a “Back to School Night” for students and parents. During this time, students in K-6 can meet individually with their teachers for a 20-minute literacy assessment. Parents are encouraged to go to the school website and schedule a time. Another session will also be held on Tuesday, September 5. The first full day of school for K-6 will be September 6 and September 5 for high school students.
After considerable discussion, the school board decided to go with a managed IT services company to replace the technology position that was held by Gary Lea. Two companies provided bids and Marco Managed IT Services was selected. The other company, Ed Midwest, LLC, would have provided a tech person on-site two days a week, but was not chosen.
School Board Vice Chair Bobbie Vickerman gave the school board members feedback on her experience with Marco, the IT company for Fillmore County where Vickerman is employed. “They are a large company and have expertise in all areas,” Vickerman said. “They are very responsive and we have been pleased with their services. Most technical issues are resolved within minutes via a phone call.”
Principal Michelle Weidemann said she is accustom to having a tech person on site when issues arise, but hopes Marco will be able to meet their needs and also help with long-range technical planning. The contract with Marco is for one year at a cost of $3,260 per month.
Bernard Bus Services, a Chatfield-based company, signed the contract to provide transportation services for M-C schools regular routes and extra-curricular activities. Bernard replaces Schmitz Busing Company. Mike Bernard attended the school board meeting and said that all systems are go, except he is still looking for additional drivers. Bernard brought flyers and encouraged everyone to distribute them in hopes they can get one or two more drivers before the beginning of the school year.
The school board acknowledged the M-C Cheerleading Team for their outstanding performance at the National Cheerleaders Association camp in Waukon last week. Five of the eight participants were nominated to the All American Team and Katelyn Kleiboer, an incoming freshman at M-C, made the team. Cheerleading Advisor Heather Kleiboer was thrilled with how the team performed, but more importantly, with how they conducted themselves throughout the camp. Board Chair Cristal Adkins commended the team for their performance and great team spirit.
In other business
• Donations were accepted from the Vang/Manning Memorial Ride of $660 for water fountains by the elementary gym and from the Scheie-Garness Youth League of $221 for the student special needs fund.
• Resignations were accepted from: Amanda Jansen, special education paraprofessional, Title I paraprofessional, & SAC paraprofessional; Shelby Gjere, special education paraprofessional; David Inglett, custodian; Stena Lieb, art teacher and Title I paraprofessional; and Susie Munroe as junior high volleyball coach.
• The hiring of Nicole Halverson on a part-time basis was approved to serve as elementary Title 1 paraprofessional.
• The hiring of Claire Thompson as vocal music director.
• A 10-cent increase was approved for breakfast and lunch prices. New prices are: student breakfast $1.50, adult breakfast $2.30, elementary student lunch $2.45, HS student lunch $2.55, and adult lunch $4.30.
At a special school board meeting held on July 25, the board approved the purchase of a new van for athletics and preschool. The old van was purchased almost 12 years ago, which is nearly “aged out,” meaning it can’t be used to transport students. The cost of the new van is $27,280. Also at the special meeting, the proposed salary increase for non-certified staff was approved for the 2017-18 school year.
The next M-C School Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 19 in the School Library at 7 p.m.