With a packed agenda, the Fergus Falls School Board took to a two-hour meeting Monday to discuss a variety of topics including a public meeting on the World’s Best Workforce report, several reports from the various committees and multiple hires.

Curriculum coordinator Carri Thompson opened the meeting discussing the World’s Best Workforce report. Thompson spoke about the group’s goals which include wanting to be sure that children entering kindergarten are ready for school, to have students reading proficiently by the end of third grade, to close all achievement gaps between ethnic and socioeconomic groups, to have college and career readiness for student before they leave high school and to have all students graduate from high school.

Many of these goals were being met in the district but one number stood out to board member, Stephen Vigesaa — 68% graduation rate. Thompson would explain that the district has three high schools: Kennedy Secondary, the Area Learning Center and iQ Academy. Vigesaa asked if people were interested or looking at each individual school if they could find out the percentage. Thompson explained that the state publishes the district’s number, but that a complete breakdown is available for each school.

Reports were also heard from the various committees. After board members spoke about the various items in their committees, Superintendent Jeff Drake spoke about American Education Week and how the school will celebrate Wednesday with staff.

The board also recognized the 2019-21 master agreement between the school board and the Fergus Falls Education Association, and an agreement between the school board and finance director Blake Stoltman.

Several resolutions were also passed at the meeting including the addition of two full-time and one part-time special education paraprofessionals. Cheri Lyon was hired for the part-time position at McKinley Elementary, while Kristin Rowlan was hired for one of the full-time positions at Cleveland Elementary.

Others were the approval of the agreement between Lakeland Mental Health Center and the district for employee assistance, a 2019 fall memorandum of agreement between the University of Minnesota Crookston and the district for college in high school program, and a transportation agreement between Ottertail Coaches and the district.

The school board and Fergus Falls Education Association also recognized the country’s veterans for their service at the meeting.

There was also several staff changes and acknowledgments at the meeting.


• Steve Brimhall and Minnesota Motor Company for donation of a Sun Scope Machine to the auto department.

• Kim Langbehn for the donation of a percussion kit to the music department.

• Patricia Douglas, Trisha Grove and Jason Marquette for donations to the Otter Angel Accounts.

Support staff resignations

• Zac Lewis, paraeducation at the ALC.

• Tricia Riemer, special education paraprofessional.

• Becky Kantrud, paraeducator at KSS.

• Tony Cantrell, special education paraprofessional at KSS.

• Ashley Thompson, noon hour supervisor at KSS.

• Kristen Rowlan, noon hour supervisor at Cleveland Elementary.

Support staff terminations

• Jessica Hed, three-hour lunch computer/food service.

Support staff hires

• Karen Starnes, noon hour supervisor (3.25 hours/day) at the ALC.

• Ashley Sortland, special education paraprofessional at KSS.

• Ashley Thompson, special education paraprofessional at KSS.

• John Hagge, special education paraprofessional at KSS.

• Tony Cantrell, noon hour supervisor at KSS.

• Scott Samuelson, district-wide mechanical/grounds custodian.

• Abby Dlouhy, 3-hr lunch computer/food service at KSS.

• Krista Hexum, Health para (long-term substitute) - 4.5 hrs/day at Cleveland Elementary.

• Karen Harper, noon-hour supervisor (1.75 hrs/day) at Cleveland Elementary.

Head coach hires

• Wynn Roberts and Josh Scharnberg - Co-head Nordic ski coaches.

Head coach resignations/retirement

• Renee Erickson, head coach varsity volleyball.

Business manager Mark Masten also presented the school’s financial audit on Monday. See Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Journal for the complete story.

The next school board meeting will be Monday, Dec. 9 at 5:15 p.m. at the Otter community room at KSS. A public meeting will be held at the meeting involving the district’s technology plan and internet safety policy, as well as a hearing on the Fergus Falls Public Schools Taxes Payable 2020 beginning at 6 p.m.


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