The Fillmore Central School Board handled several personnel issues at its November meeting, including hiring new staff and accepting the resignation of a custodian. The principal and dean of students also provided a report on the student activities held throughout the month.

The board accepted the resignation of Scott Stockdale as a custodian. He will be leaving Fillmore Central to serve as the buildings and grounds supervisor at Kingsland.

The board hired Jill Miller to serve as a paraprofessional at the high school. She is moving into the position formerly held by Angela Kaase. She was hired at $9.14 per hour and will be working 6.75 hours a day. Superintendent Richard Keith noted this is an increase of .5 hours per day for the position due to the specialized needs of a student.

Genevive Hanson was hired as a day care aid at the rate of $8 an hour for up to 32 hours per week. Courtney Bergey was hired to work with the community education youth enrichment program for 12 hours per month.

Finally, Keith Larson was hired as the head coach for baseball.

The board also approved the quote for life and long-term disability insurance coverage for its employees. Keith noted that he and the office staff had examined the plans now being offered and the costs and were able to make a few changes with the provider that will allow the district to offer increased benefits at a lower cost to the district.

He noted it is a three-year guaranteed rate and that he has shared the changes with the teachers' association.

The changes came after the district compared rates and coverages from another company, which caused the current provider to come back to the district with a better deal as well.

Principal reports

In his monthly report, Principal Heath Olstad highlighted a few activities held at the schools in November.

He reported that the National Honor Society had hosted a blood drive at the school in cooperation with the American Red Cross. He said Michael Elliot and the members did an excellent job of organizing, facilitating and participating in the drive. There were 45 complete donors, from both staff and students. "The Red Cross complimented Mr. Elliot and his students for their work. It was a wonderful day and a wonderful experience for these students," he added.

Olstad reported 42 students had been honored at the Scholar Club presentation on Nov. 19. Melanie Olstad created an excellent program with awards, invitations to parents and the reception that follows, he said. Emily Torgrimson was this year's speaker and Mr. Olstad said she did a nice job explaining her work and how it tied into her own educational experience at Fillmore Central.

American Education Week was held Nov. 12-16 and a special appreciation was extended to the Fillmore Central staff whose efforts "keep our school one of the best in southeastern Minnesota," Olstad added. "I think our teachers go the extra mile. It is what we expect out of ourselves and what we want our students to experience."

Finally, Olstad outlined a couple of upcoming events that would enable the students to give back to the community. First, he said several students would be volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity home being built in Harmony on Dec. 8 and then would be collecting food for the food shelves at all the home games during the month of December. "This is a great opportunity for our kids to give back to a very supportive community," he added.

Chris Mensink highlighted activities at the elementary school during his dean of students report.

He thanked Ron Scheevel and Mrs. Jessica Powell for organizing the Veteran's Day Program. He said the fourth through sixth grade choir performed and several sixth grade students read their original essays. They were Michael Pyse, Taryn Raaen, Katrina Bergey and Jaclyn Thomas. "It's quite an honor for those kids," he added.

Peace Poster Contest winners were also recognized by the Preston Lions. Winners were Emily Mock, Paige Donlinger and Travis Sexton.

Finally, he noted that the Preston Area Community Foundation and the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation held a challenge during Give to the Max Day in November with the one raising the most money on that day receiving sports equipment for the local school from Mican Sports. Preston raised $11,905 and Spring Valley raised $5,420. Therefore, Mensink said, Fillmore Central will be receiving sports equipment at the Fillmore Central and Kingsland boys basketball game on Jan. 18 in Preston.

In other business, the board handled an open enrollment request. The board approved a request for a first grade student who moved from the Chatfield district into the Lanesboro district and would like to attend school at Fillmore Central.