Kingsland School Board members Al Williams and Peggy Merkel received plaques of recognition for their service from Kingsland Superintendent John McDonald, far left, during the school board meeting held Dec. 17.
Kingsland School Board members Al Williams and Peggy Merkel received plaques of recognition for their service from Kingsland Superintendent John McDonald, far left, during the school board meeting held Dec. 17.
The Kingsland School Board bade farewell to two of its members during the December meeting, held Monday, Dec. 17. Al Williams and Peggy Merkel both chose not to run for another term after serving the district for at least four years each.

Kingsland Superintendent John McDonald presented each with a plaque and the board's appreciation for their service.

Business manager Kathy Beevers gave the district's 2012 financial report and the 2013 proposed budget and levy, citing that the tax levy had gone down .85 percent and that the 2012 payable budget was $2,028,326.35, and the 2013 payable budget will be $2,011,044.10.

Kingsland High School Principal James Hecimovich spoke on high school news, beginning with Kingsland High School Project Lead the Way (PLTW) students being featured on a public television show on Jan. 4, along with their teacher, Andrew Brouwer.

The College in the Schools (CIS) college credit program is under review as the district tests its merits for the first year. The principal stated, "We're trying to weight the high school credit because students in CIS are still required to take a full high school load, whereas if a student goes to post-secondary at the college, they can take five classes and be done. It doesn't seem fair. We need to take a look at this."

There were no students to report on Student Council and FFA activities because they were preparing for the Christmas concert scheduled to follow the meeting, but reports will be given next month.

Kingsland Elementary and Middle School Principal Christopher Priebe shared his disappointment that he hadn't gotten to sleep on the middle school roof.

"I had challenged the middle school students that if every student passed their accelerated reading tests, I would sleep on the roof. They were at 86 percent, so maybe they'll still get there. We had a reading event at the elementary - 'Donuts with Dads' - and there were 141 adults visiting. We were setting up extra chairs because we had fantastic support from the community."

He added that elementary students are learning how to handle the iPads available to them and that the tablets would "be staying overnight" at the school for the tech staff to update.

McDonald said the robotics team will be receiving information regarding this year's competition at a kickoff event on Jan. 5, that the district is still sharing a temporary school psychologist contract with Fillmore Central, and that the state will possibly be funding schools at 82.5 percent instead of 64.3 percent, returning funds that it borrowed from school districts in a shift that leaves the school systems waiting for portions of promised funding.

He also shared that Kingsland will welcome new members Gwen Howard and Troy Asher at the January organizational meeting, and that at the January regular board meeting, Beevers will be officially done as a Kingsland staff member, having taken a leave of absence as she prepares to get married and relocate her family to their new home. He thanked her for her dedication to the district.

McDonald also expressed the board's appreciation to April Horne for her donation of $250 to be used as a scholarship for a young lady interested in pursuing an engineering career, Ross Heusinkveld for his donation of $500, IBM in Rochester for the $3,000 given toward the Robotics First program, and Red Essig for providing wall calendars and Project Lead the Way certification ceremony refreshments.

Personnel matters included accepting Stacy Kohn's resignation as a paraprofessional, Taran Jack's resignation as baseball coach, hiring elementary office secretary Amber Uhlenhake as district administrative assistant, and hiring spring coaching staff.

Seniority lists were also approved, as were the appointment of Mary Grems to the Osterud-Winter Trust Fund and a variance for newly hired ECFE teacher Ann Priebe to continue in that capacity for three years.

The Kingsland School Board of Directors will convene again on Jan. 2 and also for its regular meeting on Jan. 23.

For more information, log onto the Kingsland website at www.kingsland.k12.mn.us.