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Colfax school board approves several motions at March meeting

COLFAX — After driving and trudging through several inches of new snow, members of the Colfax school board conducted their monthly meeting March 18 and approved five motions including a retirement and a resignation from staff members.

Susan Olson, high school library media specialist, announced her plans to retire at the end of this year. In her letter to the board, Olson added the four page list of information from the Department of Public Instruction which details the license requirements and job requirements for the position. Olson also stated she would be available if the board wanted help in hiring a new certified media specialist. The board approved her retirement and also accepted Debra Berndt’s resignation as the high school cheerleading advisor. Berndt, a long time and current elementary school teacher, has held the position off and on for the past eight years, and although she enjoyed working with the girls, she would like time to do other things according to her letter of resignation.

The Youth Options applications were approved for the 2013-14 year with one student applying for classes at UW-Stout and 10 for CVTC. High school principal John Dachel stated that although these students have applied to take classes at these schools, some of them may decide not to attend.

The board held off on approving Open Enrollment applications because the window to apply runs through April. They will also wait to see what the numbers are for baseball, softball and track before deciding if they will need to hire any assistant coaches this spring.

H & H Energy Services, based out of Madison, WI was recommended by District Administrator Bill Yingst to do the energy efficiency projects for the district which have been discussed in the past few meetings. Mckinstry, a company based out of Seattle, WA was also considered but H & H would be able to start their preliminary work by the end of the week and would be able to get the jobs completed that need to be done before students return to school in the fall, thus causing little disruption. The board, after some discussion, agreed to hire them as the Energy Services Contractor.

The final approval of the evening was for the annexation of school property to the Village of Colfax to be used for cemetery plots in Evergreen Cemetery per the legal description provided by Cedar Corp surveyor Ron Jasperson.

Old Business

The staff recognition banquet has been set for Wednesday, May 22 but Yingst has to check with Whitetail Golf Course to make sure it is available. A rental agreement contract for the pool at Elk Mound High School was finalized for summer swimming lessons for Colfax students for 10 days in June, and with board incumbents Joel Hilson and Todd Kragness running unopposed for the upcoming election, Hilson’s name will appear first on the ballot. Yingst wished them good luck in the election.

Principals reports

Dachel presented some important events coming up in April including the NHS banquet April 3, the FFA banquet April 10 and the Menomonie Chamber of Commerce banquet for the top 10% of the senior classes in Dunn County April 17. Colfax students in the top 10% are Ellie Verdon, Kenna Breckner, Samantha Nellessen, Trevor Secraw, Ryleigh Prochnow and Lachlan Hinwood. Math teacher Jennifer Steinke will represent the school as the Educator of the Year.

The high school prom will take place April 27 and the after prom party is at Action City in Eau Claire afterwards. FCCLA members will attend a Leadership Conference April 15-16 and Tornado and Severe weather Awareness week is April 21-26.

Elementary principal Trevor Hovde informed the board the school had received a grant for $16,000 from Fairmount Minerals based out of Menomonie for technology updates in the school. The money will be used to buy five Promethean Boards for classroom use and Fairmount would like a follow up summary that describes the impact the grant has on the school and to know if any changes have been made to the plans for its use.

Elementary classes were holding a celebration for the girl’s basketball team in the gym Wednesday, March 20 after their appearance in the state tournament. Several of the players are student helpers in the classrooms and many of the younger kids did not go to the state tournament, Hovde explained.

“This is a way for them to show their appreciation for the team and their physical education teacher, Mr. Doucette,” he said.

Special Education Director Polly Rudi attended the Dunn County Early Childhood Interagency Agreement meeting March 26 along with Mrs. Brunn and Mrs. Sahm, and Nancy Hovde attended two Parent Liaison Training meetings at CESA 11in the past few weeks.