The Kingsland Athletic Booster Club (KABC) was recognized at the board meeting for a donation of $7,600 and for supporting school activities. Presenting a replica of the check to Superintendent John McDonald, left, and Kingsland athletic director Tom Speltz, to his left, are  Kingsland Athletic Booster Club members Stacey Rath, left of Speltz, and Pat Pokorney, right. <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 --><br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->PHOTO BY GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
The Kingsland Athletic Booster Club (KABC) was recognized at the board meeting for a donation of $7,600 and for supporting school activities. Presenting a replica of the check to Superintendent John McDonald, left, and Kingsland athletic director Tom Speltz, to his left, are Kingsland Athletic Booster Club members Stacey Rath, left of Speltz, and Pat Pokorney, right.



PHOTO BY GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

"I'm pleased to announce that Kingsland is the first in southeast Minnesota to share its College in the Schools (CIS) program with students who can attend college and get their associate of arts degree without having to leave the school," said Kingsland Superintendent John McDonald, addressing the Kingsland School Board of Directors last Monday evening as the certification of Kingsland's AA degree program in conjunction with Riverland Community College in Austin was made official.

"I think everybody is pleased and excited about the program," added McDonald. "Students have to have a qualifying GPA, score well on an Accuplacer test, and they must earn 60 credits in 10 areas of education to earn their degrees, but when we have commencement in 2015, there might be students getting their AA degrees along with their high school diplomas."

During the superintendent's report, McDonald recognized eight teachers who have dedicated themselves to becoming post-secondary instructors, including Todd Davis, Jen Orth, Niki DeBuhr, Mollie McMahon, Linda Wangsness, Kristal Brogan, Brad Reiter and Andrew Brouwer.

In his report, Kingsland High School Principal James Hecimovich stated that he feels that "CIS is a great opportunity for Kingsland to network with Riverland...the future is bright with being able to offer classes here in the safety of the school instead of having students driving 30 miles to school." Registration for CIS courses was underway last week during conferences for sophomores and juniors who wish to be in the program next year.

Retirements, snow days

In personnel matters, the board approved the retirements of Kingsland elementary teacher Karlene Hatleli and high school teacher Karen Cleveland. The board thanked Hatleli and Cleveland for their respective 27 and 41 years of service to the district.

Snow days were on the agenda since the weather pattern has kept students busy enjoying time off. McDonald said, "We've had five snow days this year, and in the calendar, there were two built in. We've figured out how to make three days up, and students are still above the state minimum of 1,020 hours of instruction time. We have a number of in-service hours planned for staff to meet teacher contracts. Students will get out on May 31, and teachers will finish on June 5. If there are additional snow days, the board will reevaluate the situation."

There were no Student Council or FFA representatives to report on student activities, but the principals had plenty to speak about. Hecimovich congratulated the Kingsland TeKnights robotics team on a commendable performance at the competition in Duluth March 7 to 9, as the team landed a place in the top 12 standings.

Kingsland Elementary and Middle School Principal Chris Priebe spoke about "student-led conferences at Kingsland Middle School...students will lead the conferences, and if parents have any questions of the teacher, they can ask after the student has had a chance to tell about the school year."

Both the middle school and elementary school students have held food drives to benefit area food shelves, and Priebe may well find himself working at his desk on the 50-yard line of the football field at the elementary if the students bring in 300 items of food.

He noted that kindergarten registration is in progress. "We have 74 prospective students and an open house for them planned for April 16. They'll get to meet their teachers and see the school."

Kingsland athletic director Tom Speltz shared that the softball and track seasons would be getting off to a later start, thanks to the rather snowy weather descending upon the area at the beginning of each week in March. He also pointed out that the GMLOK - Grand Meadow, LeRoy-Ostrander and Kingsland - wrestling cooperative will remain intact but was reclassified as a Class A Section 2 team instead of a Class AA Section 1 team, meaning that GMLOK will now be competing at tournaments with smaller schools, matching team sizes.

Speltz also thanked the Kingsland Athletic Booster Club for assisting the district in replacing the scoreboards in the high school gymnasium so that the existing boards can be installed at the middle school gym in Wykoff. Fowler BP, Security State Bank and Essig Insurance Agency also contributed funds toward the purchase of the new scoreboards.

Other personnel matters encompassed hiring Morgan Zimmer as a Kingsland School Age Childcare assistant, approving the list of summer custodial and grounds maintenance employees, hiring Rhonda Anderson as a preschool assistant, Josh Hubbard and Suz Eberle as music directors for the spring production of "Once Upon a Mattress" slated for April 26 to 28 in the middle school gym, allowing Kelly Opseth her maternity leave, granting family medical leave to Brent Stinson and hiring extended school year staff.

The next meeting of the Kingsland School Board of Directors is slated for Monday, April 15, in the Kingsland High School conference room.