Elk Mound school board begins search to fill open position
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by LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — Following the death of Elk Mound school board member Loren Hanson on January 29, the Elk Mound Board of Eduction has started the search for applicants to fill Hanson’s position.
The notice seeking applicants for the position will be published in the Colfax Messenger, has been posted in all the normal locations that school board notices are posted and has been placed on social media, said Eric Wright, school district administrator, at the Elk Mound Board of Education’s February 20 meeting.
Letters of interest are due by 3:30 p.m. March 10 in the school district office, he said.
The letters must be in hand by 3:30 p.m. on March 10, Wright emphasized.
If those who are interested in filling the position send letters of interest by the United States Postal Service, call the school district to check that the letter has actually been received, he said, noting that the postal service has been facing challenges with finding enough people to work in post offices to sort mail and to deliver mail on the mail routes.
If an applicant e-mails a letter of interest, that person also should call the district office to make sure the e-mail message arrived where it was supposed to rather than being shifted into a spam folder, Wright said.
Anyone with questions is encouraged to call Wright at the Elk Mound school district at 715-879-5066.
The position is a one-year term until April of 2024, and then a special election will be held next April, Wright said.
If there are more than five applicants, a subcomittee will review the letters of interest and narrow the field to five or less, he said.
The Board of Education may also conduct interviews of the applicants, Wright noted.
The Elk Mound school board is expecting to conduct interviews and appoint a school district resident to the position left vacant by Hanson’s death at the next meeting on March 27.
Prior to the start of the February 20 meeting, 10 members of Boy Scout Troop 71 introduced themselves to the school board, and the school board explained the board’s procedures, the use of Roberts Rules of Order and what they would be doing during the meeting.
The school board also took the time to explain the procedures they were following and what they were doing during the meeting.
Val & Sal
This year’s valedictorian and salutatorian were identified at the February 20 meeting.
The valedictorian of the Elk Mound High School Class of 2023 will be Tori Blaskowski.
The salutatorian of the Elk Mound High School Class of 2023 will be Aleya Hadenfeldt.
The recipient of the technical scholarship will be Brock Rowan.
The Elk Mound Board of Education approved adding 15 minutes to the school day beginning March 6 until the end of the school year to make up for additional snow days.
School board members wanted to find a way to make up for the lost instructional time in a way that was the least intrusive and the least disruptive for students and parents.
While school years in Wisconsin used to be determined by instructional days, they are now measured by instructional minutes.
At the January meeting, the school board approved using March 20 as an instructional day for a make-up day, which had previously been scheduled as a professional development day.
April 10, which had originally been scheduled as a break the day after Easter, also will be an instructional day to make up for a snow day.
The goal is for June 2 to be the last day of school, Wright said.
If a student normally comes home from school, for example, at 3:30 p.m., that student will be home at 3:45, he said.
Letters have been sent out to parents about the additional 15 minutes in the school day, and the information has been posted on-line, Wright said.
The Elk Mound school board also discussed the charitable agreement pertaining to donations that would be made to the school district by the Elk Creek Solar Project.
The Board of Education asked Wright to speak with the school district’s legal counsel, Weld Riley, about making sure the agreement covers the sale of the solar farm so that if it is sold to another company, the payments would continue to the Elk Mound school district.
The proposed 300 megawatt Elk Creek Solar Project is located on 1,600 acres in the Town of Spring Brook in the Elk Mound school district.
The school district would not receive property taxes from that particular parcel for the next 35 years, for the life of the solar project.
According to state law, the solar project would have to make annual payments to the Town of Spring Brook ($500,000) and to Dunn County ($700,000) — but school districts are not included in the state’s formula.
Tyr Energy Development Renewables, the company that is working to develop the Elk Creek Solar Project, is planning to make a voluntary donation of $60,000 per year to the Elk Mound school district.
In other business, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Approved a two-year contract with the school district’s auditors, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP.
• Received an update on spending for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSR) for rounds two and three. The money has been spent on curriculum, substitute teachers and cleaning supplies.
• Signed new contracts with CESA 10 and CESA 11. No new services were added to the contracts.
• Accepted the resignation of Klara Knopske from a food service position.
• Accepted the resignation of Renee Andraschko as the middle school volleyball coach.
• Approved early graduation for Avery Anderson.
• Approved a retirement request from Marilyn Lester, who has worked in food service at the Elk Mound school district for 25 years.
Following a closed session, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Approved hiring Vihil Laboy as a full-time custodian.
• Approved hiring Paola Cortese as an assistant high school softball coach.
• Took no action on hiring a food service worker, which was an agenda item for the closed session.