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EV-W school board starts the year strong

The first meeting of the 2013 year for the Eden Valley-Watkins School Board was Wednesday, Jan. 9. Bob Flaschenriem took his seat at the table for the first time as a newly-elected board member.

This first board meeting of the year is traditionally an organizational meeting, setting things up for the year.

Sarah Kuechle was elected board chair, replacing Frank Eder who retired after 27 1/2 years on the board. (He did send delicious cranberry bread in his place.) Shelley Kern was elected vice-chair, Joanne Rademacher clerk, and Bob Stenger treasurer. Assignments were made and accepted to the various committees of the school board.

Eden Valley State Bank was again named official depository of district funds. The Tri-County News was again named official newspaper of the district.

The board voted unanimously to keep their compensation rate the same as it’s been, although no one could remember when it was last changed.

The board voted to name two law firms as official legal counsel, one is the law firm they’ve used for years and the other is a new law firm started by the two attorneys from the old law firm. They approved a three-year contract with KDV as auditor of the district finances.

Superintendent Messman gave an update on progress of the building and, after the meeting, gave a tour of the new high school office and gym. He added that there will be some replacement work done this summer on projects (like the bathroom floors) that just aren’t up to the district’s standards; these will be done at the cost of the subcontractor.

EV-W Elementary will soon begin their magazine fundraiser which is done about every-third year; proceeds go to offset expenses of field trips.

Grades 7-8 had a very successful Youth Frontiers retreat in Watkins; “courage” was the topic. (The district is still looking for funding for this $2,400 event.) 

The superintendent gave a report on  legislative concerns and focus for the upcoming session. Repayment of school districts is a big issue; some argue that school funding today is at 1993 levels. Across-the-board cuts, or sequestration, does not work for schools (or any other business), but it may be attempted again this year. And legislators are polling superintendents around the state, Messman said, to see what their opinions are about having armed guards in schools. The district will work with Meeker County, and later Stearns County as well, on emergency plans to set in place for any contingency.

The board will look into having board books and other materials delivered digitally via a web-based system sponsored by MSBA, the Minnesota School Board Association.

The next EV-W school board meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. Meetings are always open to anyone wishing to attend. An open forum is held at 6 p.m., before the first board meeting each month.