Fillmore Central Board approves hiring of teachers as new school year gets underway

Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

The Fillmore Central School Board held its August meeting last Tuesday evening with a long list of hires comprising the bulk of the agenda as the district prepares for the new school year.

Principal Heath Olstad reported on the activity in the school hallways. “We have five new teachers – one elementary, one special education, social studies, science and ALP, and one in Spanish.  We’re very excited to have all the new staff,” he said. “On Monday, we had new teacher workshops, and again today, we had one with every staff member at the Preston site…there is an energy that first day.” 

Superintendent Richard Keith agreed with Olstad before he went on to comment on having shared with staff that it was his 60th first day of school, which led the staff to guess his exact age. 

The superintendent spoke briefly about the open house slated to take place at the high school in Harmony, where various rooms have been renovated and given fresh starts to serve students for a lot longer.  “I think it’s very impressive,” he said.

Personnel matters included approving the resignation of paraprofessional Chad Sexton; termination of a daycare employee; hiring Morgan Knutson as high school science and alternative learning program teacher, 504 coordinator and PSEO supervisor; hiring Devan Iddings as fifth and sixth grade special education instructor; Tris Tollefson as elementary Title I instructor; Connie Lindstrom as an elementary resource teacher paid for through response to intervention (RTI) funding and Title I funding; hiring Emily Moger as an elementary paraprofessional; Tamara Gorter as lead teacher in the 4/5 daycare room, and Melanie Kath as lead float position at One Block at a Time.

The board also approved the list of activity sponsors for the 2019-2020 school year, noncertified staff assignments for this coming school year and Minnesota and interstate open enrollment requests for students who wish to attend school at Fillmore Central.

The board also approved purchase of concessions refrigerators for the high school concession stand and the football field stand, the purchase of a new van to replace one that has reached the end of its district-approved lifespan and set the van driver pay scale to equalize pay for van drivers and paraprofessionals who also drive school vans to pick up and drop off students.

Members set board goals for the 2019-2020 school year as part of the World’s Best Workforce (WBW) plan that addresses school readiness as well third grade literacy, closing achievement gaps, college or career readiness and high school graduation.

Finally, the board set the annual truth in taxation hearing for Thursday, Dec. 19, at 6:01 p.m. in Preston.