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WDC school board fills seven positions, approves irrigation bid

The Wadena-Deer Creek school board filled seven positions at their Monday evening meeting in the Robertson Theatre and awarded Youngbauer Landscaping an irrigation system job.

New hires included Josh Hendrickx (assistant boys’ basketball coach), Loni Niles (Junior High Knowledge Bowl), Greg Kramer (bus utility), Kasey Tufto (ABE), Robert Bobst (custodian), John Scheiding (general cleaner) and Leonard Anderson (bus driver).

Youngbauer Landscaping’s bid of $57,297.06 for installation of a controlled irrigation system on the grounds of the middle/high school was approved. Owner Chris Youngbauer told the board his crew would begin work as soon as the ground thaws next spring. The Verndale landscaper estimated the job will take an eight-man crew up to two weeks to complete.

Elementary Principal Louis Rutten reported a 93 percent turnout for the recent parent-teacher conferences.

WDC Middle/High School Principal Tyler Church reported a turnout of 62 percent for parent-teacher conferences but indicated that number was actually higher because some parents went directly to the teachers instead of picking up report cards from the office. Middle and High School grades can also be accessed online. Church pointed out this system allows parents to check their children’s grades on a daily basis.

Two-year contracts for bus drivers and confidential employees were approved by the board.

Activities Director Norm Gallant was given the green light to apply for a Minnesota State High School League Foundation Grant. The grants are funded by events sponsored by the MSHSL during the school year. Superintendent Lee Westrum drew some laughter when he wryly pointed out that competition for the MSHSL grants has increased in recent years as more school districts have learned about them.

Westrum told the board he expects the greenhouse at the middle/high school to be ready for use soon. Installation work of a propane tanks and furnace and the hiring of part-time greenhouse assistant is still under way.

The board held a closed session at the end of Monday night’s meeting. Board Chairman Steve Techam said the closed session would involve a meeting with the district’s lawyers. Techam could not comment further on the purpose of the closed session but told the Pioneer Journal it will become public at the board’s November meeting.