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WDC school board approves 2014-2015 budget

The Wadena-Deer Creek school board approved the 2014-2015 budget at their June meeting Monday night in the Robertson Theatre.

Expenses of the general fund, which is the largest of the district's funds, were pegged at $10,694.256 while revenues came in at $10,702,563 putting district coffers $8,307 in the black.

Earlier this spring the general fund budget was projected to operate at a deficit of $160,000.

"We did get a little bit of additional revenue from the legislature at the end of the session," WDC Superintendent Lee Westrum said. "They increased us $25 per student."

Westrum said the legislature also provided $23,000 to help with the expenses of a new teacher evaluation plan.

The district will operate with deficits of $60,407 in the Food Service fund and $136,163 in the Community Service fund.

The board voted to raise school lunch prices for students in grades K-12 by five cents, which will see K-4 students paying $1.80, 5-8 students paying $1.85 and 9-12 students paying $1.90.

"The reason we raised them is that we were required to by the federal government," Westrum said. "We probably wouldn't have if we didn't have to."

The board also approved the resignations of Head Softball Coach Craig Klawitter, High School Paraprofessional Josh Hendrickx, who has been hired as a teacher by the Freshwater District and Fourth Grade Teacher Chelsey Weiss, who has taken a job in the Wheaton (Minn.) school district.

Klawitter is leaving a coaching post he has manned for 34 seasons. Klawitter, who announced his retirement from teaching earlier this spring, was re-hired by the board as a part-time high school science teacher.

The board approved the hiring of Scott Woods as a fourth grade elementary teacher and head girls' hockey coach. Woods, who taught in the WDC system for nine years prior to moving to Alexandria, will replace George Behl, who recently resigned, at the helm of the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek Blue Devils. Woods led the WDC boys' hockey team to the Class A state tournament in 2004.

The board approved the re-hiring of Deb Andrews for a kindergarten teaching position. Andrews retired at the end of the school year but agreed to return at a lower STEP level.

The board also approved a two-year lease agreement for the use of the Wadena County Ag Society's horse barn at the Wadena County Fairgrounds for the district's bus fleet. The annual rental fee is $10,000.

Activities Director Norm Gallant addressed the board and proposed switching from the Mid-State Conference to the Park Region Conference in several sports.

"As enrollments have changed we're finding we don't fit as well in the Mid-State Conference anymore," Gallant said. "As a result we are not really competing as well as we would like to in the Mid-State Conference."

Gallant, who has the support of his WDC coaches, pointed out the advantages of shorter travel time for spectators and athletes. He said the school would most likely remain in the Mid-State and Mid-Mn Conferences in sports such as hockey and golf.

If the board approves the switch, WDC teams would play a Park Region schedule in the fall of 2015.

"We'll probably have them vote on it in July or August," Westrum said.

The July meeting of the District 2155 school board is set for the second Monday of the month (July 14) at 6 p.m.

A filing period of July 29 to Aug. 12 has been set for three of the school board's three seats. Ann Pate, John Moenkedick and Wayne Perkins presently hold those seats. Election Day is Nov. 4.