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Board approves new position

District 518

WORTHINGTON -- The District 518 Board of Education Tuesday approved the creation of a full-time activities coordinator position, which would likely also include teaching or other duties as determined by the district.

The coordinator will spend roughly 75 percent of his or her time arranging for transportation to games, scheduling games and the like, while about 25 percent will be spent on other duties.

The hiring will actually only add an additional .6 full time equivalent, because the district already employs a part-time activities director.

"There are certain things that are not getting done, such as professional development of our coaches, that we'd like to see done," explained Superintendent John Landgaard.

Mark Shepherd and another board member voted against the measure, with Shepherd citing the recent DFL proposal to cut 7 percent in state funding to schools.

"I have a concern with adding the position when that's on the table," he said.

Other members acknowledged his point, saying they would need to spend conservatively in the future.

However, "the legislative proposals do not always come out the way they're proposed," added board member Steve Schnieder.

The board also responded to a recent House Finance Committee decision that defeated efforts to allow schools the option of a pre-Labor Day start.

Members unanimously approved a calendar resolution requesting permission to "approve a school calendar with at least a Sept. 1, 2009, start date."

District 518 has been working with other districts in southwest Minnesota to establish a common calendar, Landgaard said, and he predicts that about 15 such districts may approve similar resolutions calling for a repeal of the law dictating a post-Labor Day start.

In other business, the board Tuesday:

- Approved the middle school principal contract for Jeff Luke, current Worthington Middle School assistant principal.

- Approved the Nobles County Integration Collaborative budget proposal for $349,867.

- Awarded the bid for the north balcony bleacher replacement at Worthington High School to Seating and Athletic Facility Enterprises for $67,702.

- Rejected all bids for the middle school roof project due to a change in the scope of the project. The project will now include the west and east sets of classrooms, and the board will re-solicit bids on the revised project.

- Approved the resignation of Janet Haren as B-Squad girls fast pitch softball coach at WHS; and the retirement of Dorothy Hagemann as English teacher at WMS, Audrey Westendorf as food service staff at WHS and of Pat Eggers as food service staff at WHS.

- Approved the employment of Elizabeth Kramer as long-term substitute secretary at WMS, of Jeremy Berger as the seventh and eighth grade girls and boys golf coach, and of Brad Grimmius as ninth grade boys' basketball coach at WHS.