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Verndale board approves budget; Mahlen stepping down as A.D.

Mike Mahlen1 / 2
Work on the school bus garage in Verndale is proceeding on budget according to Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling Project Manager Mike Lovelace. The project is expected to be finished by late July or early August. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal 2 / 2

The Verndale school board approved a school budget and made a large number of personnel moves Monday as they laid the groundwork for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.

Verndale will be working with 2017-2018 budget that will leave them with a $108,306.86 surplus in their general fund. The revenue of the general fund is expected to be $5,763,003 while the expenditure will be $5,627,696. Verndale Superintendent Paul Brownlow said the budget will have to be adjusted this fall after salaries and student enrollment figures are finalized. Verndale ended the school year with an enrollment of 547. Their projected enrollment for the coming school year is presently 533.

The most notable personnel move was of the night was a resignation, effective next June, by Activities Director Mike Mahlen, who took over the A.D. position in 1977. Mahlen will continue serving as Verndale's head football coach. He is currently preparing for his 49th high school football season.

Hired as elementary teachers were Jennifer Cameron and Alicia Strayer. Paige Johnson was brought aboard as long-term substitute. Nick Bunio was approved as a part-time music teacher. Hired for the middle school math/elementary Title 1 position was Jennifer Blickenstaff. Emily Waldahl will fill the district's vacant media assistant. Greg Johnson returns as head boys' basketball job.

Bonnie Richter's request for an extended leave of absence was granted. Richter's leave will begin June 30 and run for three years.

Stepping down from her kitchen staff position was Becky Dye. James Brewer resigned as a part-time math instructor.

The board gave approval to changes in committed funds, new meal prices for the coming school year, a long-term facilities maintenance plan, a service contract with the Lakes Country Service Cooperative, a revised school calendar. membership in the Minnesota Rural Education Association and a concurrent enrollment agreement with M. State.

Mike Lovelace of Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling told the board the new school bus garage is on budget and will be finished by late July or early August. The garage is being built to commercial specifications. In February, the board approved an expenditure of $550,609 for a garage and parking lot.