School board gets organized for 2013

Brian Rothstein
Brian Rothstein

The Waconia School Board kicked off 2013 with a pair of meetings held on Monday, Jan. 14.
The board opened with an organizational meeting that determined a number of appointments, designations and other organizational items for 2013. The first item of business was conducting the Oath of Office for newcomers Naomi Erickson and Ken Varble, who were elected to the board last fall.
Brian Rothstein, who has been on the board since 2010, was elected to serve as Board Chairman for 2013. Last year, Teresa Kittridge served as chairwoman of the board. Kittridge is no longer on the board. John Weinand was re-elected to serve as Vice Chairman for 2013.
Todd Swanson, the Director Finance and Operations, was appointed as board treasurer. Jessica Kilian, Superintendent’s Administrative Assistant, was appointed to serve as board clerk.
After choosing committee assignments, the board approved a variety of designations, resolutions and appointments. Examples of these actions include designating the district’s legal counsel, financial depositories and official newspaper and appointing district personnel to serve as District Representatives.
In 2013, regular board meetings will be held on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at city hall and work sessions will be held on the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at various school sites.
The final piece of business conducted by the board was the establishment of pay rates for 2013.
In 2012, board member salary was $3,100/year for all board members. The member serving as the board chair received an additional $500 and members serving on the Personnel/Negotiations Committee received an additional $300. In 2013, the rates will remain the same except for the board member salary, which was increased to $3,200/year for all board members.
After the organizational meeting, the board held its first regular meeting of the year.
It was a brisk meeting that opened with Superintendent Dr. Nancy Rajanen acknowledging the dedication and commitment of long-time coaches Pat Foley and Clark Machtemes. Both Foley and Machtemes teach at the high school and they have announced they are done coaching this year. Foley spent 25 years as Waconia’s football coach and Machtemes has served as the cross country coach for the past 22 years.
The board also acknowledged several donations, including one for $11,900 from the Bayview PTO for educational programming (guided reading and classroom library materials, curriculum night, math games for third grade, shared reading books for fourth grade). Other donations included $3,206.56 from the Southview PTO for an Identysis-Diecut and $1,500 from the Waconia Lions Club for girls basketball.
Kathy Oliphant, Director of Teaching and Learning, gave a brief presentation on work related to developing the district’s strategic plan. The district’s logo includes the phrase “Learning for Life,” which is related to the district vision statement: “District 110 will prepare each student for life, work, and service in the 21st Century.”
The district’s mission is “to engage students in broad and challenging learning experiences characterized by equity, opportunity, and high expectations” and the strategic plan includes three goals:
• District 110 will develop master plans that promote a safe, efficient, and supportive learning environment for all
• District 110 will engage families and the community in supporting the learning and achievement of students
• District 110 will provide comprehensive programs at all levels that are rigorous, relevant, engaging, and designed to prepare students for postsecondary options
Oliphant explained that each goal features a number of strategic themes, specific results, and critical elements. Additional information on the district’s strategic plan is available at the district website.
In other matters, the board unanimously approved a resolution that resulted in the expulsion of a student.
It was noted that under Minnesota law, the name of the student and related details are private information, and thus, no information regarding the student or reasons for the expulsion were released. According to information provided by the district, the recommendation for expulsion was made in accordance with Board Policy No. 506 – Student Discipline, which clearly describes consequences for student misconduct.
The board’s next regular meeting will be held at city hall on Monday, Feb. 11.

High school fire update
A fire occurred at Waconia High School that resulted in the early dismissal of students on Jan. 7. According  to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, the initial investigation indicated that the someone had ignited three rolls of toilet paper, which produced heavy smoke and damage to a men’s bathroom.
On Friday, Jan. 18, Superintendent Dr. Nancy Rajanen told the Waconia Patriot that with the help of local law enforcement and district security, the person responsible for the fire had been identified. The identity of that person and any consequences for his or her actions were not disclosed — Rajanen noted that individual student disciplinary action is protected by the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.
“The high school administration feels confident that the matter has been resolved and steps were taken to return the school to normal operations,” Rajanen said.

Contact Todd Moen at [email protected]