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Rhonda Silence

Resignations and retirements on School Board agenda

The School District 166 School Board has been meeting a lot lately to talk about the hiring of a new superintendent for the 2021-2022 school year. However, there is still a lot of regular business for the board to consider and that is what took place at the April 15 school board meeting.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence checked in with Principal/Acting Superintendent Megan Myers on the latest news from the school district. One of the first questions was about the status of COVID-19 cases at ISD 166. Myers said she was pleased to report since the two that were reported on April 8 and April 12, there have been no more positive coronavirus tests in the student population.

Principal Myers also reflected on the resignations and retirements that were on this regular meeting agenda. The first was the retirement of former Middle School English Teacher and current Special Education Teacher Sue Nelson. Myers said she will be greatly missed.

During the school board meeting itself, two school board members –Carrie Jansen and Stephanie Radloff–noted that they had been students of Mrs. Nelson. They greatly appreciated her class, especially the 8th-grade biographies that were part of the curriculum.

Principal Myers also spoke of the resignations for School Registered Nurse Alex Miller and Licensed Practical Nurse Tim Young, both leaving for other job and family commitments. She thanked both profusely, noting that this year was an extraordinary year for school nursing staff.

Asked if a job announcement for two nursing positions would be coming, Myers said that is something the board will have to decide. In the past, the school had one full-time nurse. Myers said depending on who applies, ISD 166 may go back to that format for the nurse’s office. The one requirement the school must follow is that there is a registered nurse overseeing the office in some manner.

At the meeting, the school board also accepted the semi-registration of school bus driver Jake Patton. In his resignation, Patton said he appreciated working with Bus and Maintenance Supervisor Tom Nelson, writing that Nelson was “the best boss I’ve ever had.”

Myers was happy to report that Patton will still serve as a substitute driver, something she said the students will very much appreciate. She said there are openings for regular and substitute bus drivers. Anyone who would like to know more may call the school for more information at 218-38-2273.

Finally, at the meeting, the school board accepted the resignation of Industrial Technology Instructor Chris Rauzi. The resignation was accepted, with regrets, with Board Member Radloff again noting that she attended his class. She said he was a great teacher.
Principal Myers agreed, noting he had a wonderful rapport with students and he will be missed. She encouraged anyone interesting in an Industrial Tech teaching job to contact the school to check out the industrial tech area, with its welding booths, CAD systems, and woodworking area.

In other business, the school board reviewed the school district’s Family Medical Leave policy and the Harassment/Violence policy. After some discussion, it was agreed a “deeper dive” needed to be taken on these policies. It was also agreed that the school district has a lot of other matters on its agenda, such as COVID-19 and finding a new superintendent. When time allows, it was agreed that a committee would be established to review and update policies. In the meantime, Principal Myers will continue to provide copies of policies to review at the meetings. She said she will send them out two weeks before meetings to give board members more time for study and thought about any possible changes or updates.

Maria Burnett, the Grand Portage Education Director, was on hand to share some information from the Local Indian Education Committee (LIEC). The parent member roster for the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee was shared. There was also a discussion of how the Ojibwe language could be incorporated into the elementary curriculum.

Finally, the board talked about some upcoming end-of-year events, Prom, which will be held May 8 and graduation, which will be May 29. Details are still being worked out, but the school district is working hard to see that these events can take place as safely as possible to celebrate the Cook County Schools students.

Here’s WTIP’s Rhonda Silence, speaking with Principal/Acting Superintendent Megan Myers about all this and more.