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Matthiesen to fill second grade teaching position at WDC

The District 2155 school board approved the hiring of Kali Matthiesen to fill the second grade teaching position by a 4-2 vote Monday evening in their regular monthly meeting.

The second grade position opened this spring when Linda Macklanburg announced her decision to retire. Joan Goeden, a part-time second grade teacher, was considered by many other elementary teachers to be a good fit for the job.

Board members Pete Hayes and Dan Toedter voted against the

hiring of Matthieson. Hayes pointed out that his opposition had nothing to do with Matthiesen's qualifications. He feels that some "gray areas" still exist in the interviewing and hiring process and he would prefer that the public see the process in "black and white."

"I think there were things we could have done different in the beginning," Hayes said. "I didn't understand why we had to open up the interviewing process again. We still had a pool of six more people. I don't think that we gave a fair shake to the other applicants."

WDC administrators were looking for a head hockey coach this spring when they were filing their elementary teaching positions. When no acceptable candidates came forward to fill both jobs, the decision was made to hire the applicant with the best teaching qualifications.

WDC principals Tyler Church and Louis Rutten have been on every interviewing team since 2008 when Virginia Dahlstrom took over as superintendent. They are joined by instructors who are considered expert and experienced enough to judge an applicant's qualifications. Their recommendation is reviewed by Dahlstrom who makes the final recommendation to the board.

Church and Rutten both defended their decisions and the recommendations of the interviewing team. Rutten said he had contacted Matthiesen to let her know the job was open and that he has contacted other teachers in the past when jobs are open.

"I agree with what they did but not the way they did it," Hayes said.

Matthiesen is from Wadena and has taught at WDC, Verndale, Bertha-Hewitt and Menahga. Her job with WDC was eliminated due to budget cuts, according to Dahlstrom.

Matthiesen has a Master of Science degree in Education from Southwest State and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from St. Cloud State.

The board unanimously

approved Bethany Danielson to fill the Elementary Art/Tech position. Danielson, who lives near Vining, has a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla. She has been a part-time art instructor in the Lake Park-Audubon district since 2007 and prior to that worked in the Detroit Lakes system.

The board also approved the resignation of Sandie Cottrell, who has served as a business teacher and BPA advisor. Cottrell had accepted a full-time position with the Verndale school district.