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The board also approved starting the hiring process for preschool teachers and paraprofessionals for the school’s preschool program for 4-year-olds.

Worthington High School
Worthington High School.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON — With board member Brad Shaffer’s official date of resignation drawing nearer, the District 518 Board of Education devised a procedure for appointing his successor during its Tuesday meeting.

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Mahoney was named Education Minnesota Worthington’s Teacher of the Year in May 2022.
Jenson will be invited to a recognition banquet in March and League officials will announce the four statewide Triple A Award winners at that time.

Shaffer, who is moving out of the district, announced his resignation on Jan. 9, effective Jan. 31.

The current board must appoint a successor to serve in the position for the remainder of 2023.

“I think there’ll be a lot of interest and we’re gonna be surprised,” said school board member Adam Blume.

At the general election in November, the public will vote for a new board member for the seat — the appointee may run if they wish — to take office Jan. 1, 2024, and serve the rest of the year, as that is the remainder of Shaffer’s term. After that, the position will be back to its normal term limits and election schedule.


Board members had different ideas of what the appointment process could look like, but they approved an application submission process so they would have candidates for the open spot.

The application has five questions, the answers to which are to be limited to two paragraphs. Question topics range from community involvement to knowledge of the school board’s decision-making process to an assessment of strengths and “things you would like to see addressed” within District 518.

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“With just one student, it was a little challenging,” Tarus said. “... the harvest was a little rough.”
The Jackson County Libraries are hosting puzzle competitions at all three libraries on Feb. 25.
"(Tests) provide us much more than just a score for the state as the district utilizes these scores for a variety of things."

Applications must be returned by 1 p.m. Feb. 3 to Superintendent John Landgaard.

Erin Schutte, who recently attended a session about what to do when a school board member resigns at the annual conference of the Minnesota School Board Association, said the MSBA recommended each school board member have the opportunity to nominate one applicant from the entire applicant pool.

Blume said he liked the process the board had used for hiring administration, in which candidates were brought to the full board, discussed and then voted on.

Board Chairman Joel Lorenz stated a committee should interview candidates to make a recommendation to the board, a suggestion which the board adopted. The committee will be composed of Schutte, Lorenz and board member Tom Prins, as well as Landgaard.

In other news Tuesday, the board:

  • Approved starting the hiring process for preschool teachers and paraprofessionals for the school’s preschool program for 4-year-olds, which District 518 officials are preparing to begin at the start of the 2023-2024 school year.
  • Set instructional make-up days for Feb. 20, Presidents Day, and April 6, the Thursday prior to spring break, as District 518 students have already missed three school days and have also already had three e-learning days due to severe winter weather.
  • Accepted donations from the Southwest Initiative Foundation for marching band and robotics, from Dana Kemper for marching band, and from Gordon Enterprises for the class of 2024.
  • Approved an employee request for sick leave due to pregnancy, a request for an extension of child care leave without pay and a request for child care leave without pay.
  • Approved the second reading of the revised school meals policy.
  • Revised the budget for the Nobles County Integration Collaborative to reflect the closure of the VIBE online program.
  • Appointed Cristina Adame to the NCIC Advisory Board.
  • Approved a request to ask for bids for health insurance.
  • Approved the partnership agreement for the Trojan Legacy Wall at Trojan Field, in which a donor has agreed to give $50,000 to construct. People will then be able to purchase bricks for recognition of individuals, families or businesses, with money from the bricks going toward District 518 extracurriculars.
  • Discussed potential adjustments to the draft of an easement for the proposed pond the Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District will build near the Intermediate School.
A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

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