Mabel-Canton Board approves hires, other business for upcoming school year

By : 
Barb Kerns

The Mabel-Canton Board of Education met on Tuesday, Aug. 20, dealing with end of the summer business and preparations for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.

The 2019-2020 budget, payment of invoices and electronic fund transfers were approved.

Superintendent Gary Kuphal reported there was only one applicant for the board position vacancy, Dustin Tollefsrud.

As a follow up to the July meeting request from area churches, after school activities will follow the current schedule, but any student who is interested in attending the proposed church activity will be excused with no penalty. No action was required by the board.

Superintendent Kuphal also gave an update on library and band room water damage reported at the July board meeting, stating that additional information is needed. The estimate for damage was over $32,000 and the insurance check was for $25,000.

Also, as a continuation of July matters, approval was given to table the evaluation of the superintendent until the Sept. 17, meeting.

The teacher and staff handbook, having passed the second reading, was approved.

The addition of a Booster Club fundraising list was included in the District 2019-2020 fundraising list, which was unanimously approved.

The joint school district and city council meeting date was tentatively set for Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 6 p.m.

Consent agenda donations approved included $374 from LuVern Raaen for lunchroom trays, Mabel-Canton Booster Club for $1,000 for gym mats, $200 from the Joseph B Lund Post 299-American Legion to Cougar History Account to cover weight room supervision. The board expressed appreciation for all donations.

Penniann Ramirez resigned from her position as a paraprofessional. The board accepted with thanks for all her years of service to the district.

Also as part of the consent agenda, the board approved hiring Stacey Wilson for the high school special education paraprofessional position as well as hiring Garry Sickles for the full-time custodian position. Finally the board approved hiring Stephanie Westby as the long-term substitute for the Title I paraprofessional position.

Other staffing matters included the approval of hiring Carlena Gallagher for the FFA advisor position.

The board approved a change in the agricultural education position from .2 to .4 full-time equivalent (FTE) and the hiring of Doug Ward to fill that position for the first semester.

The leave of absence extension request for Nichole Halverson, from October 1 through May 31, was approved, contingent upon finding a suitable replacement.

Approval was also given to the maternity leave request for Katie Bergey in October (when baby arrives) through Jan. 2, 2020.

Principal Michelle Weidemann reported that there is still a vacancy for the choir teacher position and that someone is needed to cover football concessions for home games.

Board thank yous were expressed to Neil Folstad and the custodial staff for the amazing job they did cleaning the school this summer in preparation for the start of school.