School Board, with new member, meets briefly after snow piled up

By: 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Kingsland’s School Board held its first official meeting of the year Wednesday, Jan. 22, welcoming new member Noella Lund to the five other individuals tasked with carrying out decision-making for the district’s students. 

The regular meeting was shorter than originally planned because of more snow arriving early in the morning that caused school to be canceled and various staff members who were to give reports to remain home. 

Board chairwoman Jackie Horsman presided over business, with the first order being to rescind the motion combining the duties of the office of clerk and treasurer of the board – action that was taken at the Jan. 6 organizational meeting but since determined that the offices will be better served by two individuals instead of one.  The resolution’s action was rescinded and nominations taken for clerk and treasurer – Maranda Emig had been nominated to be clerk and treasurer, but nominations were made by board members Tiffany Mundfrom and Natasha Howard to place Kyle Rader as clerk, and further nominations were made to keep Emig in her role as treasurer.  Both actions passed. 

The board also voted in favor of accepting the corrected teacher seniority list and to grant permission for Kingsland’s senior students to take a class trip to Rapid City and Keystone, South Dakota, to see the Black Hills. 

Horsman outlined that a resolution — one directing the administration to make recommendations for reductions in programs and positions and state the reasons for those recommendations – is an annual action that the board is required to take for the district’s financial health and that at this point in time, it is just that.  No recommendations to change the district’s programming and staffing have been made or related conclusions reached. 

Horsman highlighted a few reports that she did have in hand from those who couldn’t attend, including from Kingsland Community Education coordinator Becky Bicknese, who cited that the school age childcare (SACC) program’s summer field trip packet is being compiled, that the student trip to Washington, D.C., is happening and that arrangements for travel are underway – including informational meetings to educate travelers on how to pack and what expenses to anticipate. 

Other reports that Horsman shared were from business manager Amber Uhlenhake Herbrand, who hopes to have a budget forecast presentation to share during the February workshop or meeting, and from Superintendent Jim Hecimovich, who relayed facility updates regarding the repair of the building’s PA system and the ongoing adjustments to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning units to make them as efficient as possible. 

Personnel matters included approving the hire of evening custodian Matthew Peterson, the resignations of part-time SACC assistant Jade Smith and special education paraprofessional Lisa Vorwerk and a lane change for Baily Zanish. 

The board expressed its appreciation to Lyle Kruegel for $2,000 for band boosters, the Kingsland Athletic Booster Club’s (KABC) donation of $3,000 for the courtyard playground equipment, the Spring Valley Area Sportsmen’s Club for its $1,460 donation to the trap team, to Steve and Alyssa Himle for their $40 to the trap team, Rick and Janelle Rowe for their $10 to the trap team, to KABC and Valley Lanes for their contributions totaling $1,175 to Kingsland Elementary School’s Action 100 reading program, to the Osterud Winter Trust for its $550 to purchase lecterns for English instructors Stacey Hogberg and Stephanie Derby, and passed a resolution accepting the gifts as required by statute. 

The consent agenda included approving the minutes of the Dec. 16 regular meeting, the Truth-in-Taxation hearing held that same evening, the Jan. 6 organizational meeting and the Jan. 6 work session. 

Kingsland’s School Board meets the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Kingsland choir room, but in February will meet on Thursday, Feb. 20, due to scheduling conflicts.  The February workshop will take place on Monday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. in the elementary school conference room.  The public is welcome to attend open meetings.  For more information, log onto the Kingsland website at www.kingsland.k12.mn.us, or call 507-346-7276.