WDC school board adds two new members


The Wadena-Deer Creek school board brought two new members aboard and selected a new chairman Tuesday at their first meeting of 2017.

Dan Lawson and Vince Hinojos formally joined the board after winning election last November. The two men replaced long-time board members Peter Hayes and Steve Techam, who did not run for re-election.

Kent Schmidt, who was re-elected to the board in November, was elected chairman by his fellow board members. Jil Fiemeyer took over as vice chair. Clerking duties went to Lawson and Ann Pate was approved as treasurer.

In addition to staff seniority lists, the board approved a three-year burn agreement with Lake Region Energy Services for heating the Deer Creek facility with natural gas, if a pipeline to the Otter Tail County community is built. The pipeline will run east along Otter Tail County Highway 50 to Deer Creek and then south to Parkers Prairie. After an initial investment by the school district of $21,000 to convert the burner in the Deer Creek facility from diesel to gas, WDC Superintendent Lee Westrum believes the district will begin saving money on heating fuel by the end of the agreement's second year.

The board also approved a three-year lease agreement with the Freshwater Education District at $64,500 per year.

Joyce Boyne was rehired as a part-time bookkeeper. Emily Thibodeau was hired as a part-time bookkeeper and Kid's Club para.

The board heard plans for the annual visit of the Minnesota Twins Winter Caravan the morning of Jan. 26 in the WDC Junior/Senior High gym.

Presenting a report on behalf of WDC Elementary Principal Louis Rutten, Westrum briefed the board on a new format for the annual Kindergarten Roundup. The plan is the allow kindergarten students to remain at home for a day while next fall's kindergarten students are brought in to replace them for a day.

"I think it's worthwhile to give it a shot," Westrum said, speaking on behalf of Rutten.