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BOYCEVILLE — With the new school year set to begin next Tuesday, September 1, the Boyceville Community School District’s Board of Education approved more than a dozen 11th-hour personnel changes at its regular board session held Wednesday evening, August 19 in the Tiffany Creek Elementary IMC.
During the final summer meeting at Tiffany Creek Elementary before moving their meetings back to the high school/middle school IMC, the board dealt with several retirements, resignations and hirings.
Although the personnel items were part of the action/consent agenda, which are usually all approved at once, Superintendent Nick Kaiser went through each one at the request of board president Tim Sempf.
The board approved the retirement request of Julie Kersten, who said in an email to Kaiser that after much thought and consideration she had decided not to return to school for the 2020-21 year and instead retire. Kersten worked as a paraprofessional in the school district.
The resignations of Debra Kistner as a food service worker and Scott Shelley were also accepted. Kistner wrote that due to medical reasons she felt she could not fulfill the duties of the position any longer but added it had been a pleasure working with everyone in the district. Shelley resigned as a full-time bus driver effective immediately but expressed a desire to stay on with the district as a substitute bus driver. Kaiser noted that Shelley has been a driver for the district for several years and also has another job during the day which he decided to do full time.
Superintendent Kaiser stated that Jadra Kiekhafer has a 5-month-old son at home that she wanted to spend more time with so she was resigning as the 7th grade volleyball coach. Kiekhafer did mention in her letter to the board that she would like to return to the program sometime in the future.
Tiffany Creek Elementary ELC (4-year-old kindergarten) teacher Abbigail Lucking Dicks resigned. Kaiser told board members she and her family will be relocating to Ohio where her husband is from.
The final resignation that the board approved was that of Angie Wyss as a paraprofessional. In a letter to high school/middle school principal Tyler Moy, Wyss stated in an email that she had accepted a job offer at River Falls High School.
With the aforementioned resignations and other teaching and support staff openings from earlier this summer, the board moved quickly to fill those positions, with the first day of school fast approaching.
Tyler Pitt was approved for the one-year opening as the elementary school counselor. He will be replacing Jacinda Fischer who requested and was granted a one-year leave of absence by the board. New TCE principal DeeAnn Thompson said that Pitt has a lot of experience with students in very different environments not necessarily as a school counselor but that he did have his school counselor license.
Laura Debee, Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) teacher at the high school, also requested a leave of absence. Moy said that when Debee came in to talk with him about the leave he could tell that the decision had weighed on her a lot but she had to make that choice for a year to be at home with her little child. Moy asked the board to accept her one-year leave of absence which it did.
In a related matter, the board approved the hiring of Sarah Johnson to replace Debee as the full-time FCS teacher. Johnson has previously served as a FCS teacher in the Mukwonago School District and a school counselor in the River Falls School District.
Amber Syverson was hired as the ELC (4K) teacher replacing Abbigail Lucking Dicks. Principal Thompson stated that Syverson has 11 years of experience hired by day cares to do 4K for the Menomonie School District and actually taught two of Thompson’s children. She has also been in the instructional center at UW-Stout since 2014.
Cathy Bauer was approved as a route bus driver after working as a substitute driver.
Marki (Lagerstom) Wolf, who is a Boyceville native and graduate, was approved as the new C-team volleyball coach. Wolf was hired this past spring as a kindergarten teacher at TCE. Kaiser noted that she had prior coaching experience.
To fill some middle school coaching vacancies, the board gave its approval for the hires of Beth Heifner and Holly Sweeney as volleyball coaches and Tony Hellendrung as a football coach.
In other matters the board:
• Heard the 2019-2020 Seclusion and Restraint Report from Bonnie Barker, Director of Special Education, School Psychologist and Title IX coordinator. Barker told the board that there had been two incidents both at TCE by the same student. No seclusions or restraints were needed at either the middle school or high school.
• Approved the 2020-21 Student Guidebooks and the 2020-21 Employee Handbook which included a schedule for increases in coaching salaries.
• Accepted a $3,200 grant from the Ann Marie Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase a new Yamaha digital piano for TCE. The board also gratefully accepted a donation of $530 from TMS Tire and Auto for the school lunch fundraiser.