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Greenwaldt, Johnson, Behl vacating positions

Elementary paraprofessional Joan Greenwaldt, technology coordinator Aaron Johnson and head girls’ hockey coach George Behl are leaving their posts.

The District 2155 school board accepted Greenwaldt’s retirement after a 17-year career.

Johnson, a WDC graduate, has been with district for 12 years. Behl has been head coach of the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek hockey team for four years.

The board added two teachers to their elementary staff - WDC graduate Kevin Tumberg and special education instructor Tether Eckhoff.

The board also approved a lane change for special education teacher Lois Schulz.

At the request of board chairman Steve Techam, elementary principal Louis Rutten supplied the board with 2014-2015 class size projections along with the anticipated sections required for each class. WDC will have 27 sections in grades K-6 with a projected enrollment of 557.

“We currently have 75 enrolled in kindergarten with 10 to 15 more expected by September,” Rutten said.

Wadena mayor Wayne Wolden and planning and zoning director Dean Uselman addressed the board concerning a proposed “Tornado Lot” property tax abatement. The proposal is designed to stimulate interest in home construction in the southwestern portion of the city, which was hit by an F4 tornado in June, 2010.

Wolden and Uselman want the school district to partner with the city and the county in making improvements on lots in the area tax exempt.

“We are proposing a three-year window and a 10-year tax abatement,” Wolden told the board, adding that no entity in the partnership will “go backwards.”

“You’ll still collect the same amount of taxes,” Wolden said. “What an abatement does is abates the improvements.”

In other business:

  • The school board approved a band and choir trip to Chicago March 28-April 1, 2015.
  • Approved a landscaping quote by Youngbauer Landscaping for work around the middle/high school. Youngbauer previously received the school irrigation job.
  • Approved a technology capital expenditure budget of $149,690.70.
  • Gave WDC superintendent Lee Westrum the authority to purchase two lots on behalf of the district in the vicinity of the school bus garage.