Chatfield School Board organizes for 2020, welcomes new member

Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Chatfield’s School Board organized itself for the coming year during its Jan. 8 regular meeting, electing Amy Jeffers as chairwoman, Lanny Isensee as vice chairman, Scott Backer as clerk and Katie Priebe as treasurer. 

New board member Rick Lowrey joined the board for his first official meeting, assuming the committee assignments previously held by F. Mike Tuohy, who served on the board for a year to fill the seat left open following Jerry Chase’s resignation.

The board handled two action items on the agenda – approving the $15,000 payment to CCTV for its work to record school events for public broadcast and revisiting the annual resolution directing the superintendent to make reductions in staffing and programming as necessary because language in the resolution approved in December contained an error. 

During principals’ reports, Chatfield Elementary Principal Shane McBroom thanked the Chatfield Masons for their Bikes for Books bike donations to students who won a lottery for new bicycles after meeting criteria for reading a certain amount of time or number of books, and to People’s Energy Cooperative for using designs by Chatfield fifth graders on its Christmas cards mailed out to People’s customers this year. 

Chatfield High School Principal Randy Paulson highlighted that Beatrice Martin and Brady Woltz have been chosen as the district’s AAA (Academics, Arts and Athletics) Award recipients and will represent Chatfield at the next level of competition for the scholarship. He also noted that the school’s Delta group held an assembly before Christmas that got students together to have fun before vacation, that smart watches are officially not allowed in classrooms, and that the middle and high school choirs and bands presented a “wonderful concert” for the holidays. 

Superintendent Ed Harris had a short report for the board that encompassed getting ideas to start planning for financing and construction of a new storage shed to replace the one removed from school grounds to make way for the new swimming pool. He noted that the stone apron on the high school’s entrance wall has been installed as completion of the three-year construction project that renovated the high school and some of its exterior.

He also outlined a new policy that the board read through – Pioneer Presbyterian Church has generously approached the school district with funds to offset student lunch accounts with negative balances, and the district has penned a policy that outlines the equitable distribution of those funds.  

The consent agenda included approving: the minutes of the Dec. 4 regular meeting and the Dec. 11 special meeting; DJ Tony Lee as the Snowball Dance deejay; the resignation of Sara Sturgis as seventh grade softball coach and the posting of that position; hiring Tom Moody for junior high football; and accepting the spring coaching list – Tom Bance for B squad baseball, Zach Slowiak for eighth grade baseball and Jason Voeltz to serve for seventh grade baseball.  Kirk Affeldt will coach B squad softball and Brianna Harmening will take eighth grade softball.  Track and field assistants include Damien Nickelsen, Scott Schmaltz, Barb Storsveen, Niki DeBuhr, Brian Nolan and Jennifer Bradt.  

Chatfield’s School Board meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the high school Forum room.  The public is welcome to attend.  For more information, log onto the Chatfield school website at