Lanesboro School Board members met on Thursday evening, Jan. 16, to discuss the possibility of a school trip for the sophomores and juniors of the 2014-2015 school year.

Questions had arisen for the continuation of the trip since one of the chaperones is no longer able to accompany the young people for health issues. However, Lanesboro resident Dave Rogers approached the board for their approval of the trip with himself and possibly two others serving as the chaperones.

The trip is estimated to begin Dec. 26 and continue through Jan. 6. Rogers gave the estimate of 50 teens who are already interested in the trip. Some of the sites to be included on the trip would be the site of John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Cowboy's football stadium and The Alamo.

Mention was made of Hawkeye Stages, which provides the transportation for the trips. "Hawkeye Stages has been very good to our Lanesboro trips," Rogers stated. "Even when we had a group less than their minimum, they have pushed our trips through because they know our school so well."

With the projected attendance being around 50 participants in the trip, the board discussed adding a third chaperone to the group. They recommended Rogers budget for another chaperone. Rogers has already appealed to a few people to be the other chaperone.

The cost of the trip would be about $1,235 per person and another $30 to $40 for a third chaperone. Fundraiser ideas previously used for the trips included frozen food and cookie dough sales as well as a spaghetti dinner and silent auction.

The importance of the trip for the students themselves was revealed in past comments brought up to the board. Many have found the trip creates stronger friendships so the remaining years in school provide more quality time for the students. They have also expressed looking forward to the senior trip with even greater anticipation because of the bonding of the earlier trip.

The board unanimously approved the 2014-2015 trip under the leadership of Rogers.

Teacher's master contract

Negotiations have concluded between the negotiations team, consisting of Dave Lawstuen, Lolly Melander and Steve Snyder, and the teacher's union for the 2013-2015 master contract. The negotiations team and the teachers union were both congratulated for doing an excellent job in their discussions.

The new contract is not greatly changed, but examples were added to clarify parts of the contract and old, out-dated items were deleted from the contract.

Within the contract, the provision remains for the incentive of teachers to move lanes to obtain a pay raise and more education, such as a Masters degree.

Board election

With the beginning of a new year came elections of the board officers for the coming year. Dave Ruen was nominated and approved to continue as the chairman of the board with Dave Lawstuen as the vice chairman. Lolly Melander continues as the treasurer and Steve Snyder remains as clerk.

Each of the board members also opted to remain on the committees assigned to them for the past year.

Board salaries

Along with the election, the board discussed leaving the board's salaries as is or changing them. The salaries have remained the same since 2007. The vote was unanimous to leave the salaries as they have been for the past few years.

The salaries are $1,400 for the chairperson, $1,100 for the clerk, $1,100 for the treasurer, $900 for the directors, $450 paid annually to the chief negotiator, $350 paid annually to the other negotiator and $250 to the education district.

Patron comments

At the conclusion of the meeting, the board talked of the recent tragedy involving the death of three Lanesboro graduates in a car accident in Winona, expressing their own sadness and sympathy for the families.

It was also noted that at the beginning of a girls basketball game at Hope Lutheran, the opposing team opened with prayer for the Lanesboro School District and families of the victims. The board members were touched by the support of Hope Lutheran and resolved to send a note of thanks to the basketball team.