Fillmore Central Board members, elected to the board in the November election, were sworn into office at the beginning of the January school board meeting last Tuesday evening. From left are Ross Kiehne, Jim Love and Emily Ellis. Not shown is re-elected board member Deb Ristau.
Fillmore Central Board members, elected to the board in the November election, were sworn into office at the beginning of the January school board meeting last Tuesday evening. From left are Ross Kiehne, Jim Love and Emily Ellis. Not shown is re-elected board member Deb Ristau.
In its first meeting in 2013, the Fillmore Central Board of Education welcomed back incumbents Ross Kiehne and Jim Love as well as new board member Emily Ellis. Deb Ristau, who was also re-elected in last November's election, was not present. Superintendent Richard Keith administered the oath of office to board members Kiehne, Love and Ellis.

The agenda consisted mainly of housekeeping items, with the board electing to keep officers the same as 2012 with Chairperson Kiehne, Vice-Chair Craig Britton, Clerk Ristau, Vice-Clerk Shelly Topness and Treasurer Sue Sikkink.

The board approved salaries for 2013, opting to keep them the same as 2012. The chair salary was set at $1,440 and the treasurer at $1,350. The rest of the board salaries were set at $1,080 and in the case of extra meetings, an additional $25 to be added to the salary.

Personnel

In regular business, the board approved the hire of Nate Jones as the full-time custodian at the high school due to a medical leave of absence for custodian Brett Bushman.

The board also approved long-term preschool subs to fill vacancies created by a pair of maternity leave requests. Anne Detlefsen will be subbing for Tonya Keim in working up to 15 hours per week and driving the preschool van route. Elisha Himli-Seelbinder was hired to sub for Angie Haugerud and will be working up to 24 hours per week.

The spring head coach list was also finalized and the board approved Tris Tollefson to be the softball coach, Lane Powell as the girls' golf coach, and Brad Holten as the boys' golf coach. Lower-level coaching positions are looking to be filled with sign-ups for recommendations located in Harmony and Lanesboro high school locations.

Principal Report

Principal Heath Olstad updated the board on several items concerning student and staff activity.

He congratulated the one-act play participants who received second place at the sub-section meet held at Rushford-Peterson High School on Jan. 19. Olstad said that the cast and crew would perform for the high school students on Jan. 24 in preparation for Section competition which was to be held at St. Mary's University on Saturday, Jan. 26.

Olstad highlighted the staff computer training that was completed on Jan. 21 for the school's Google Docs and Gmail systems. After an early dismissal for the students on Jan. 18, the staff also had professional development opportunities through the website provider Editure, for which they have purchased a license for group learning in any number of topics related to staff and student improvement.

The milk cap and label drive held at the elementary school netted approximately 76,426 caps and labels with the fifth grade bringing in the most. Olstad said the money raised from this cap and label drive will go right back into the school and the fifth grade class will receive a pizza party for their effort.

Along that same note, Olstad also commended those students who helped work on the Habitat for Humanity home as well as those who donated food for the Fillmore County Food Shelf. A total of 190 pounds of food was sent to the Food Shelf.

Olstad shared the athletic director update with the absence of Chris Mensink. Olstad thanked Jim and Shannon Love, Ross and Jennifer Kiehne, Benj and Kristi Kiehne, Matt and Abby Hellickson, and Chris and Kari Mensink for purchasing an enclosed trailer that has been able to be used for multiple school functions such as football games, one-act play competitions, and field trips.

Olstad also mentioned that the effects of the influenza have been manageable. He stated that the best place for anyone who is sick is at home.

Other business

• Fees for the 2013 driver training program were approved to be the same as last year at $330 for Fillmore Central students, $380 for out-of-district students and $40 per hour for any extra behind-the-wheel training.

• The board was updated on the Minnesota School Boards Association's Leadership Conference held in Minneapolis that was attended by Kiehne, Ellis, Love and Keith. They shared their experiences and what they learned, while noting that the speakers were excellent and it was a good conference. Keith and Ellis both said board visibility in the public was stressed at the conference as well as improving community education efforts to involve senior citizens. Kiehne shared updates on classroom and school innovation noting that many of the concepts presented were already being implemented or used in Fillmore Central.

• The next school board meeting was set for Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. at the Preston school building.