The Fillmore Central School Board met on Monday, Jan. 22, to organize the board for the upcoming calendar year.

First on the agenda was to elect the officers for 2018. These officers remain the same as 2017 with two exceptions. Ross Kiehne continues as chairperson, Craig Britton as vice-chairperson and Sue Sikkink as treasurer. Deb Ristau switched to clerk and Jim Love to vice-clerk. Board salaries also remained the same with the chairperson to receive $1,440; the vice-chair, clerk, vice-clerk and director receiving $1,080 and treasurer receiving $1,350. For attending extra meetings, board members will be compensated $25.

Following the trend, committee assignments are also the same as 2017. Board members Emily Ellis-Onsager and Shelly Topness are on community education and board member Britton is on continuing education and the Minnesota State High School League/Three-Rivers Conference. Topness and Sikkink are on the meet and confer committee. Ristau serves as the Minnesota School Board Association liaison and on staff development. Ellis-Onsager will serve as the special education advisory council. Kiehne, Sikkink and Topness form the negotiations committee. Ellis-Onsager and Love are the policy committee. Sikkink is assigned to system accountability and she is joined by Ristau to form the extra-curricular advisory committee. Britton, Kiehne and Love are on the vendor negotiations and facility focus committees. Kiehne, Ristau and Sikkink are the budget committee. Kiehne and Love are the technology committee and Britton and Ellis-Onsager are the curriculum committee.

Other appointments remaining the same begin with official depositories, which are First Southeast Bank of Harmony, The First State Bank of Fountain, F & M Community Bank in Preston and the Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund.

Official newspapers are Fillmore County News Leader and Fillmore County Journal.

Official stations for school closings are KQYB, KFIL, KROC, KNXR, KTTC-TV, KAAL-TV and the Harmony and Preston local cable channels.

Kathy Whalen, Darla Ebner and Superintendent Richard Keith were given authority to wire transfer funds and purchase certificates of deposit. Authority was also granted to pay bills that have a penalty for late payment before a school board meeting.

The regular school board meeting schedule will continue to be the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

The official school district legal council is Knutson, Flynn & Deans.

Official notices will be posted at the elementary office, district office and high school office.


Principal Heath Olstad reported to the board activities at the high school. The school’s workshop day was held on Jan. 22.

The one-act play, under the direction of Jackie Whitacre, performed for the public on Jan. 25 following the wrestling match. Olstad noted the play was selected as the Three-Rivers Conference champion.

Additionally, a select group of the choir students performed at Luther College and Wartburg College.

At the elementary school, the milk cap and label drive took place from Jan. 15 to Jan. 19.

The periodical sale for the kindergarten to fourth grades kicked off on Jan. 29.

The math wizards competed in their first meet on Jan. 11 in Wykoff. Dean of Students Chris Mensink expressed his thanks to Sarah O’Connell and Sara Baskett for running the program.

The dance team is looking into the Outback Bowl next year and fundraising to attend Cheer Team as well as fundraising to attend cheer camp this summer.

February is “I Love to Read Month” and the La Crosse Community Theatre will present “Miss Electricity” on Feb. 8. The first grade VIP lunch will be on Feb. 9. There will be no school on Feb. 19 for Presidents Day. Finally, on March 1, there will be an artist in residency musical performance.

Director of Special Education Micki Breitsprecher submitted her report to the board as well. The department is in the middle of annual reviews of the paraprofessionals. She stated she would like to acknowledge Governor Mark Dayton’s declaration of Jan. 22 to 26 as paraprofessionals week. She expressed her gratitude for the paraprofessionals who dedicate their time and efforts to providing support for the students.

The special education parent advisory council reserved four lanes at the bowling alley in Preston for a winter gathering. The event is set for March 24 from 1 to 4 p.m.


The Board approved several resignations. These include Rhonda Frisch as a paraprofessional, effective Jan. 1; Jessica Koenig as a teacher’s assistant in the daycare; and Peyton Breitsprecher as a custodian, effective Jan. 19.

The Board hired Daron Wiltgen as the long-term substitute for Kelly Duff while she is on maternity leave and Sydnie Huffman as the teacher assistant in the toddler room in day care.

The Board also approved head coaches for the spring sports as well. Tris Tollefson will coach softball, Keith Larson will coach baseball, Brad Holten will coach boys golf and Aaron Mensink will coach girls golf.

The board accepted Blaise Sass as a volunteer coach in the wrestling program.

Other business

The board approved a quote for a new Vulcan commercial steamer for the high school kitchen from  Rochester Restaurant Supply.

Superintendent Richard Keith presented the board with quotes for a new football scoreboard from Daktronics and NEVCO. With his recommendation, the board approved the purchase from Daktronics including all the additions for a total of $41,070.

The school has been having some problems with the entry door access equipment for a couple of years. Custom Alarm has been attempting to keep the school going with the present system, but it does have obsolete equipment. Keith received a quote of $4,087.47 for the elementary school and $7,125.24 for the high school. The Board approved the quotes.

Finally, the Board accepted donations totaling $40,000 to be used for the purchase of the new football scoreboard, $15,000 from the Harmony Area Community Foundation, $20,000 from the Fillmore Central Booster Club and $5,000 from the Fillmore Central Youth Football.

Due to possible conflicts with the boys basketball team playing on the evening of the regular February school board meeting, the board will meet at 7 a.m. on Feb. 27.