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By Amber Hayden
BOYCEVILLE – The Board of Education learned that Boyceville’s Tiffany Creek Elementary has earned the National Blue Ribbon Award and is one of eight in the state.
Mr. Kaiser, superintendent, along with third grade teacher Shannon Bignell and second grade teacher Amy Carlson-Phillips, traveled to Washington D.C. to accept the award, and also to attend breakout sessions.
The Award is presented to schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among students.
“Schools are nominated by the State Superintendent based on multiple criteria, including percent of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, demonstrating dramatic improvement or academically superior performance and meeting accountability requirements,” Kaiser explained.
The Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, presented the award to 312 public and 50 private schools on November 14 and 15 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools.
The ceremony was also live streamed back to TCE so the students could watch as Kaiser, Bignell, and Carlson-Phillips accepted the plaque.
“We are honored and delighted to receive the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award,” said Carlson-Phillips. “The dedication and diligence of our incredible staff, students, and families has earned Tiffany Creek Elementary this prestigious title. This is a time for our entire community to feel proud and celebrate this amazing accomplishment.”
“Our staff has always had the Blue Ribbon attitude,” said Bignell. “The award itself is a symbol of the exceptional work that occurs within our building daily.
The board also received an update from Athletic Director Brian Roemhild during their Wednesday, November 20, meeting explaining numbers from the fall season and winter sports.
Roemhild let the board know that even with low numbers during the fall in some sports the district can look to see an increase with the incoming freshmen for the 2020-21 school year.
“We are also looking at ways to get the crowd more involved in the games,” Roemhild stated. “We are working with a group of student athletes that will come up with different theme nights for the games.”
Like last year, the Stout Ale House in Menomonie will sponsor the half court shoot outs for pizza for a year, and there will be a “Timberwolves” night for athletes in grades seven through twelve to attend a game.
Roemhild also stated that the weight room has had new equipment purchased which includes four new speed training carts that can be used indoors or outdoors.
The speed training carts are a bi-directional power sled that is on wheels which utilizes a resistance drive system that enhances training for quickness, endurance, and power.
“I’ve seen the kids going in to use them and it is fascinating,” said Bonnie Barker, director of Special Education.
Roemhild, along with middle/high school principal Tyler Moy, have also tried them out and said they are “quite the workout.”
“The weight room is now open early in the mornings from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.,” Roemhild said. “It is run by the coaches and we have even had some of the middle school students coming in to use the carts.”
There is also a “New Homecoming” being planned to get the community and alumni more involved and will expect there to be a Saturday game, also Coaches vs. Cancer will be held on Valentine’s Day, February 14.
Community members will notice that the project surrounding Tiffany Creek has been completed and the grass has taken to the area nicely, according to project manager Nate Anderson.
“The cost of the project was $52,400 which worked out a little under budget,” Anderson explained to board members. “With the $18,000 that was covered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and then the grants totaling $15,000 left the school with a cost of $14,500.”
A trout habitat was added to the stream and Anderson explained that if the district will be looking to plant seedling trees that they should be ordered by January 1 and plant them to coincide with Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22.
Board president Tim Sempf has also offered to donate several trees that are about eight years old so that there are some older trees surrounding Tiffany Creek.
The question of an outdoor classroom was also posed to Anderson and he explained he could add it to the original permit and said the DNR would want it to involve the natural habitat.
The Boyceville school district may look at new ways of adding an aviation class to their curriculum along with the help of the airport located in town.
Moy had recently attended a conference in Denver that was hosted by United Airlines and their training facility.
“It is sparking the interest in a number of schools that I spoke with knowing that there is a need for 212 pilots and 190 mechanics,” Moy explained.
The facility that United has currently is able to train on 32 simulators estimated at $27 million per simulator, and will look to add another eight in the near future.
During the meeting the Board of Education:
• Approved Colby Dotseth as varsity basketball coach.
• Approved Troy Kuhn as JV basketball coach.
• Accepted an $800.00 grant from the Ann Marie Foundation to be used toward the purchase of a wireless mic system for Tiffany Creek Elementary.
The Boyceville Board of Education will meet again on December 18 beginning at 6 p.m.