At its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, the Lanesboro School Board completed its organizational duties, getting set for a new year of operation.

The first order of business was to swear in the newly-elected members of the board, Terry Scott and Christine Troendle. Board chair David Ruen provided an overview of the duties and obligations of board members, after which he administered the oath of office.

The board approved salaries for the board members to remain the same as the previous year, noting the rates had been increased in 2002, 2004, and 2007. Salaries will remain at $1,400 for the chair, and $1,100 for both the clerk and the treasurer. Directors will receive $900. The chief negotiator will be paid $450 and other negotiators will receive $350, both of which are to be paid annually. The representative to the education district will receive $250.

Officers for the new year were elected, with Ruen remaining as chair, Dave Lawstuen as vice chair, Steve Snyder as clerk and Lolly Melander as treasurer.

Committee assignments will be Lawstuen remaining on the Minnesota State High School League and Ruen on the education district. Serving on the school sharing committee will be Lawstuen and Troendle. Negotiations will consist of Lawstuen, Snyder, Melander and Scott. Snyder and Scott will be on properties. Melander, Troendle and Scott will go to economic development, and Snyder will remain with daycare. Ruen will remain the legislative liaison. Lawstuen, Scott and Melander will go to the policy committee and wellness committee members will be Melander, Troendle and Scott.

The official newspaper will remain the Republican-Leader and The Associated Bank of Lanesboro will remain as the official depository. Legal counsel will be Dick Nethercut of Harmony, which remains the same as last year.

The official regular board meeting schedule will remain the same, with the board meeting on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.

The board approved an authorization allowing the superintendent to make investments on behalf of the district, which, according to Superintendent Jeff Boggs, is a formality enabling him to "do all those things with money" that are necessary to function as a district. It also approved a resolution directing administration, also a routine annual approval, to make any recommendations for reductions in programs and positions, and the reasons for those, if the need arose during the upcoming year.

A contract was approved for Kami Highum, a new hire in the kitchen. She is replacing a retired employee and comes with food service experience at Mayo Clinic and elsewhere.

Board hears Ag In Motion trip recap

Ashley Bue, a senior at Lanesboro High School, presented a recap of the Ag In Motion trip she had made to northern Minnesota. This was the second such trip, and also the second she had experienced, earning a half-credit each time she participates.

The attendees are all FFA members from this area, who traveled by bus as far as Carlton the first day, went whitewater rafting, and spent time exploring Duluth, including the Duluth pier and the aquarium.

The second night they set up camping at an Itasca campsite. They participated in an "Amazing Race Ag In Motion Style" on bicycles, followed again by exploration time.

Each day they had various "lab events" and assignments. In the evening they were around the campfire doing team-building and trust experiential learning exercises.

The third Ag In Motion trip will be to eastern Missouri and Illinois on July 14 to 18. When asked about cost, ag teacher Tim Willette said the cost for Bue for the most recent trip had been $150, half of which was paid by the local chapter of FFA and the other half paid by Bue herself.

The cost of the Missouri trip will be $250. Details as to due date for application and other requirements are still pending.

School's new greenhouse close to completion

Willette provided an update on the greenhouse being constructed on the school grounds. He reported that the structure is there with "half a roof." The contractor is from Loretto, Minn., who also has snow-plowing obligations there, and has to coordinate his time "between snowfalls." He has indicated that it will take him about three more days to totally enclose the site.

Electrician Joel Walbridge is bringing power to the greenhouse, and then the heaters will be hung.

Willette indicated he is researching benches and watering systems. A grant has been received which must be used for equipment inside the greenhouse, not on the structure.

He also plans on some kind of fundraising opportunities, possibly creating hanging flower baskets for sale to local B&Bs and others, like the city, who regularly buy them for the season.

He added the greenhouse will be a learning lab, and will be "up and running as soon as possible," maybe another month.

Troendle asked if the coursework the students are taking right now was "ready" for the lab; Willette said that the horticulture class is now studying landscape design, and will be doing something this spring in the front of the school.

Snyder asked if it would be possible to get contracts from potential buyers of the hanging baskets so the class would know what the buyers want in their baskets. Willette said that all options are being researched and considered.