The Chatfield School Board of Directors convened for a short meeting last Monday night, June 17, addressing numerous items of district business in a short amount of time.

Committee reports included the facility and finance committee's update given by Kathy Schellhammer, who relayed that the committee reviewed financial projections for the next four years and determined that the district will continue to strive to operate within its means and to offer excellence in education.

Principal's reports encompassed Chatfield High School Principal Randy Paulson's list of business, including thanking Tom Hughes for his 22 years of service as industrial tech instructor, prom advisor and "fix it man."

Paulson added, "We're looking forward this year, also, with Tom Hughes' retirement, to looking at the position and deciding if it should remain an industrial tech position or become another ag position."

Paulson also welcomed athletic director Dan Schindler with "best wishes" for a smooth transition to Chatfield High School. He congratulated Bailey Hilgren and Luke Isensee for their success in placing 11th at the National History Day competition in Washington, D.C., and also extended congratulations for the track and field athletes who made sports history this spring.

Paulson thanked Greg LaPlante, Mike Tuohy, Katy Jablonski and Barbara Ahl for assisting with graduation.

Finally, he introduced a new reading enrichment program meant to help seventh and eighth graders stay at grade level.

"It will enhance their reading, no matter what level they're at," he concluded.

Superintendent report

Superintendent Ed Harris reported that the cost of a ballpark at Mill Creek Park is "too cost prohibitive" and that the lights at the high school tennis courts will be replaced with new lights that have a timer due to the amount of use the courts get, warranting such action.

He added the district had considered installing drinking fountains at the softball field and also outdoors at the elementary, but the water lines serving the proposed fountains are plastic and therefore not approved for drinking water.

"The school board activities committee has been working on the student handbook, and the fall sports meeting is coming up in July," Harris continued in his report. "Regarding the deployment of iPads in the classrooms, teachers' training started June 3 and is going very well."

Harris also explained why school lunch prices are rising by a nickel. "They're up five cents by a mandate from the USDA. They're trying to enhance the subsidies and close gaps between free and reduced lunches," he said.

He commended the summer cleaning crews that have taken classrooms apart and scoured the corners in each school building. "Cleaning is off to a good start. I'd like to commend the summer crew for doing such a good job so far. They're up early and ready to go. Additionally, the elementary parking lot is up for resealing and striping, and the high school lot is on the list for next summer."


In new business, the budget was reviewed. The general fund expenditures for 2013-2014 are $8,189,734, and revenues, $7,936,716, for deficit spending of $253,018. Harris explained why the deficit balance appeared, stating, "The large capital expenditure was on iPads and the HVAC at the high school."

Other business

Several matters were approved on the board's consent agenda, including the following items.

• The board treasurer was authorized to approve the end of year bills.

• The Chatfield News was designated as the board's official 2013-2014 newspaper

• The official district depositories for the upcoming school year will be Root River State Bank and Minnesota Liquid Asset Funds.

• Ratwick, Rozak, Maloney and Bartel were named as the district's attorney.

• The regular board meeting date, time and place will remain the same, which is the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the high school media center.

• The board approved the service agreement for speech and language services through the Hiawatha Valley Education District.

• In personnel issues, the board accepted the resignation of Nikki Ostby as an eighth grade coach, hired Jeremy McBroom as a B squad basketball coach, accepted the retirement of industrial tech teacher Tom Hughes, hired spring and fall sports coaches for the new school year, including Adam Hurley as ninth grade football coach.

The next meeting of the school board is slated for Tuesday, July 16, instead of Monday, July 15, at 7 p.m. in the Chatfield High School media center. The public is welcome to attend. For more information, log onto the district website at