By Jon Tatting—
Having won back their seats in the last election, Rush City School Board members Scott Tryon, Stephanie Folkema and Brenda Nessel recited the oath of office on Jan. 19, the first board meeting of 2012.
Prior to setting committee assignments, the board agreed to keep Tryon as chair; Carol Cook, vice chair; Brian Anderson, clerk; Channa Tastsides, treasurer; and Folkema, along with Nessel, as directors.
In his report to the board, high school principal Stuart Fuhs said Mrs. Larson has made RCHS an ACT testing site, which can accommodate up to 100 students.
Though Rush City students will have priority to register for the test at RCHS, surrounding schools will be invited to register their students as well. Testing dates are April 14 and June 9, while four dates may be available next school year.
Each of the 71 percent of students who took the recent grad reading retest passed it, meaning the students now meet the reading test requirement for graduation.
Fuhs congratulated students Marissa Belau and Justin Marty for being selected as Rush City High School’s representatives for the 5A subsection Triple A (academics, arts, athletics) Award.
Also at the high school, students in Mr. Olson’s Tech Ed classes are building robots — from Vex robotic kits provided by Pine Technical College — to compete against other area schools, Fuhs reported.
In other news:
• The board permitted the district to pursue a proposed gymnastics conference, the Granite Ridge Conference, for 2012-13. Aside from Rush City/Pine City/Hinckley-Finlayson, other schools considering include Becker, Howard Lake-Waverly, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Maple Lake, Princeton and Rockford.
• As they did last year, board members agreed to trade in an old district vehicle and purchase a new school bus for $93,530. With the purchase, Superintendent Vern Koepp noted the district has reached a point where it may be able to hold off on paying for another new bus next year.
• On personnel actions, the board approved the resignation of David Stevens as One Act Play director and Declam coach. Replacing him will be Kristine Peterson as play director and Katherine Johnson as Declam coach. Also hired were Paul Sommerfeld, as a bus driver; Charlotte Thill, JH golf; and Lee Rood, girls softball assistant.
• Learned the district is in compliance with pay equity standards, as presented by business manager Laureen Frost.
• Superintendent Koepp voiced appreciation of the paraprofessionals who work with students throughout the district. He noted Gov. Mark Dayton had earlier proclaimed the week in honor of all paras across the state. “They have a very significant impact on our students. They are appreciated,” said Koepp of the paraprofessionals at Rush City schools.