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Unexpected news at R-P School Board Meeting

Fri, Jun 19th, 2009
Posted in Education

While the majority of the Monday, June 15, meeting was coupled with a casual atmosphere and moments of laughter, as to be expected at the end of a school year, there was also a surprising turn of events.

After a closed meeting to evaluate elementary/middle school Principal Joel Hovland, the board reconvened with an open meeting. At that time, the board received and accepted the principal's resignation. Hovland was frequently hailed by the administration and board in previous meetings, and his passion for his role as an educator and concern for his students was always prevalent. He had accepted the position with the district in early August of 2007.

Hovland shared with the board that "after much soul searching and anguish, he had come to the conclusion that his style of leadership is not compatible with R-P Schools and that it was in his best interest to make a career change." He then thanked the board for "opportunities afforded to him during his tenure" and was "appreciative of the opportunities to work with some of the greatest kids in America." Hovland expressed his "admiration and respect for the students, staff, school, and communities and wished everyone the best success in the years to come."

A written press release from Superintendent Chuck Ehler, dated June 16th, stated that the board had received and accepted the resignation. Hovland was thanked for his two years of service and assistance with flood recovery efforts. On behalf of student, staff, and the board, Ehler extended "best wishes to Hovland as he moves forward with his future endeavors."

The district's search for a replacement will commence promptly with hopes of completing the selection and interview process by July 20th.

Grants for 2009

With the state's financial decisions for the year still to be announced, the district is thankful to be the recipient of several grants, the first being the General Mills Foundation Grant. In the amount of $10,000, it is to be used in the implementation of a combination of exercise and nutrition curriculum aimed at motivating children to be active and to generate positive nutrition choices. A registered dietitian will assist the district in meeting grant guidelines and criteria. The grant also allows the district to use 50% of the funds for the purchase of additional equipment should it choose to do so.

A partnership with St. Mary's University, particularly K-12 Technology Curriculum Infusion, is of high honor. One of only four schools chosen for the grant, the district will utilize the partnership in "infusing and incorporating technology into classrooms" through staff development. St. Mary's will provide the development for technology literacy over the next two years.

The National School Lunch Program Equipment Stimulus Grant, in the amount of $10,971, is to be used for replacement purchase of a much-needed milk cooler. The current cooler is functioning at a less than desirable standard, with obvious concerns, and its age is unknown.

Fire Marshall Report

Completed on May 28th, the report addressed some "big tasks and costs." While the report has no direct stipulations, the district is moving forward in taking steps to remedy the issues. One required item is the installation of a sprinkler system in the shop area. The cost to secure such a system was not available at the time of the meeting, but the district is seeking estimates. The stage curtain in the auditorium will also need replacement.

Notable News

Congratulations to the R-P Boys Golf Team who were recently crowned Class A State Champions. Team members include: Kasey Olloff, Justin Simon, Matt Agrimson, Todd Vesterse, Brady Boyum, and Zach Minor. Coaches are Mike Honken and Luke Rye.

R-P/H Track Members walked away with impressive finishes at the June 6th state meet. The 4x100 relay team of Zach Stackhouse, Dan Smith, Trent Kerrigan, and Dalton Mensink placed 4th, pole vaulter Jana Olson finished 9th, and Cayle Pich placed 11th in the shot put. Congratulations to the athletes and coaching staff.

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