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Two apply for open BEA seat

By Staff | May 19, 2019

During their regular meeting last Monday evening, the Blue Earth Area School Board was informed two district residents have submitted applications to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Jeremy Coxworth.

Interim superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen reported Maria Frank and Jeff Eckles both met the filing deadline for the vacant position.

Discussion was held on how to proceed with the matter. It was decided to schedule a day when both candidates could be interviewed. Following the interviews the board will appoint the new member.

However, the new board member does not immediately join the board. There is a 30 day period to allow for public comment on the chosen candidate. If the candidate still meets the approval of the board following the comment period, then the new member can begin serving on the board. The date for the interviews was not determined at Monday’s meeting.

In a related note, there is still a push being made at the state legislature to lessen the requirements for a special election to fill board vacancies, according to Jensen. Holding special elections can be quite costly for a school district.

The board then moved on to consider some financial matters concerning the school district.

First, the board approved a resolution authorizing the approval of the sale of general obligation refunding bonds series 2019A.

Next, the board approved the 2019-20 capital expenditure budget. Then the board approved the community education staff wages/salaries for the next school year.

Moving on to personnel matters; the board approved a resolution placing Gary Holmseth, a technology integration teacher, on unrequested leave. It is a .4 full time equivalent (FTE) position. The reasons for the unrequested leave are discontinuation of a position, lack of pupils and lack of funds.

In other personnel matters, the board approved the hiring of Brent Vereide as a custodian.

The board also accepted the resignations of Holly Hoerth as a Little Giants/School Age Care teacher, Ingrid Chrisman as a high school English teacher and Lindsay Johnson as an elementary teacher. These resignations will be effective at the end of the school year.

During the public input portion of the meeting, members of the Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) group including Lissia Laehn, Annie Leibel, Mary Kennedy and John Huisman, updated the board on their activities.

“REV is working hard to educate the youth about the employment opportunities available in Faribault County,” Kennedy explained.

During district reports, Hannah Brower, who teaches middle school English, spoke on the communication skills being learned by her students.

The students have enhanced their learning by participating in debates and learning about advertising, propaganda as well as learning team building, according to Brower.

With the end of the school year approaching, Dr. Jensen noted the last day for students will be Friday, May 31. Commencement will be held on Sunday, June 2 beginning at 2 p.m.

Following the adjournment of the regular meeting the board had a work session with Michael Hoheisel, a Public Finance Advisor for Robert W. Baird and Company. The purpose of the work session was to get a first look at the potential for holding an operating referendum to address financial matters concerning the district.