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USC hires new principal

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | May 23, 2021

New USC elementary principal Jennifer Taylor.

United South Central School Board chairman Dale Stevermer took time during the board’s regular meeting on May 18, to introduce Jennifer Taylor as the new elementary school principal.

Taylor grew up in Marshall and will begin her duties at USC on July 1.

“I am currently a Special Education case manager and teacher at Albert Lea Area Schools,” Taylor said. “I have also been working as an administrative intern at the school.”

The board approved the contract for Taylor, which calls for an annual salary of $92,000, plus a stipend for being the district assessment coordinator.

In other personnel matters the board accepted the resignation of Special Education teacher Todd Husfeldt and paraprofes- sionals Emma Olson and Adam Rajtar. Olson’s resignation is effective May 28 while Husfeldt and Rajtar’s resignations are effective at the end of the current school year.

The board also approved seven more new contracts. They were for Matthew Bird, director of information technology; Jamie Gordon-Kamm, Food Service director; Erin Hansen, ELL teacher; Karissa Jewison, sixth grade math and science teacher; Ryan McCue, fifth grade math and science teacher; Adam Rajtar, Special Education teacher; Nathan Scruggs, high school social studies teacher.

During the administrative reports, superintendent Keith Fleming told board members the legislative session ended without a budget agreement.

“It sounds like all sides are close to reaching a compromise and a special session will be called in June,” Fleming reported.

High school principal Julie Stauber reported enrollment has been holding steady.

“We are at 322 students in grades 7-12 which is down one from last month,” Stauber commented. “We have been holding many meetings regarding what we can do to support our students. Reports tell us there has been more anxiety and depression among students due to the pandemic.”

She also updated board members on events taking place at the school.

“We had our Honors Awards program earlier today and I thought it went quite well,” she noted. “Prom and post-prom are May 22. The final exams for seniors are May 26 and 27. May 28 is the last day for our seniors and our graduation ceremony is scheduled for June 6 at 2 p.m.”

She also reported summer school and credit recovery classes are all set to go.

“The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment tests are almost complete,” elementary principal Nick Jurrens informed the board members. “We will finish those up by this Friday. The enrollment for K-6 is 359 students.”

The board also:

• Approved the 2021-22 high school and elementary student handbooks, pending food service updates.

• Voted to add a full-time technology integration and support specialist position.

• Approved the purchase of a multi-functional activities vehicle to be used primarily for special needs students.