Two new Mabel-Canton school board members have been chosen in the last two months. In September, the board selected Diane Wilder to replace Jeff Rein who resigned in August. And at its October meeting, they selected Lizzie Hershberger to replace Bobbie Vickerman, who moved out of the district.
Hershberger, mother of four and former Amish teacher, was interviewed at a special meeting held prior to the October 17 board meeting. Another candidate, Dustin Tollefsrud, was interviewed last month. Each were given the same questions to answer. School board members agreed that both were outstanding candidates and it was a difficult choice. A motion was made at the board meeting to appoint Lizzie Hershberger. The nomination was approved unanimously. Both Wilder and Hershberger will serve through December 2018.
The board approved the hiring of Russell Larson for head basketball coach for the 2017-18 season. Russell replaces Doug Wyffels whose contract was not renewed by the school board after a 24-year career as coach.
The M-C Trap Shooting team members, Colton Heintz-Kuderer and Bailey Bushman joined the team’s advisor, Doug Ward, to give the board an update. The team is second in their conference with Colton as their first-place shooter and Bailey number two. The team has 18 members and competes against schools with similar size teams. Trap shooting is the fastest growing sport in Minnesota. Students can begin in sixth grade and must have completed the fire arm safety certification. Ward said the sport takes up about 25 weeks out of the year, but he loves it and so do the kids.
Both Heintz-Kuderer and Bushman are also members of FFA and will be going to the National FFA conference in Indianapolis this week. Ward is the FFA advisor and will be taking 11 students this year. Seven will be going for the first time. The conference includes hearing Muhammad Ali’s daughter speak, concert, rodeo and visits to a 30,000-head dairy farm, a feline rescue (not the domesticated kind) and fish farm.
Superintendent Kuphal announced that Michelle Weidemann is officially certified as a principal in Minnesota. She has been serving as Dean of Students/Interim Administrator until her credentials were completed. Weidemann has one last class, but via an approved variance, she can now serve in the capacity of principal, which will allow her to conduct staff evaluations, attend IEP meetings and other duties that she has not be able to perform prior to this.
Principal Weidemann showed the recent plaque that the school earned for 2017 as one of America’s best high schools. This national ranking was based on academic performances in math and English, accomplishments in helping disadvantaged students and a high graduation rate that M-C achieves every year.
In other business
• Jason Marquardt volunteered to be considered for a four-year term to serve on the Southeast Cooperative Board of Directors. The board meets in Rochester once a month. According to Superintendent Kuphal, having a rep on this board is a good way to stay informed and keep a pulse on upcoming activities that could impact our district.
• Donations were accepted from Big Canoe Lutheran Church for $100 for milk break program, $200 from Mabel Lions Club for the Cheer NCA trip and another $200 to the class of 2019 for helping with the mutton busting contest at Steam Engine Days. The M-C Booster Club gave $100 for the volleyball tournament lodging in Brainerd and Kevin Fowler from Old Crow Vineyard gave $500 to the football team for helping with harvest.
• American Legion Post 299 gave $300 to be used for the weight room, $100 to the football team for roads/ditches clean-up, $200 for the Cheer NCA trip, $250 for the band trip and $250 to repair band equipment.
The next M-C School Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 21 in the School Library at 7 p.m.