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Cokato Elementary principal to be named soon
Monday, March 26, 2012

By Jennifer Kotila
Staff Writer

DASSEL, COKATO, MN – Superintendent Jeff Powers informed the Dassel-Cokato School Board at Thursday’s meeting that the search for a Cokato Elementary principal was nearing conclusion, and he should have a name for them at the Monday, April 9 board meeting.

Following the meeting, Powers said there were 44 applicants for the position, and 12 were brought in for the initial screening process.

Of those 12, four were brought back for a second round of interviews, which concluded earlier last week.

The four finalists are Larry Edgerton, an elementary principal in the Hinckley school district; Ben Bakeberg, an assistant middle school principal in the St. Michael-Albertville school district; Linda Schmidt, an elementary principal in the Bagley school district; and Sandi Arndt, an elementary principal in the Canby school district.

At this time, Powers is in the process of negotiating with the person the district wants to hire.

Berggren addresses board about ‘what matters’

Gail Berggren, second grade teacher at Cokato Elementary, addressed the board, telling them she wanted to talk to them about “what matters,” in reference to her son-in-law, Ryan Weinandt, who applied for the Cokato Elementary principal position.

Berggren started by talking about the company her father owned, and how he treated his employees and business associates.

It mattered that he tried to do the right thing when dealing with his employees and business associates, Berggren said.

“Doing the right thing matters,” Berggren said. “Recognizing quality people on the staff matters.”

Important initiatives which have taken place in the DC School District matter, such as building a competitive football program, developing the Father Reading Everyday program, creating an effective weight program that can be used by athletes, and others, Berggren said.

She also noted that it matters that there is a double-standard within the district when some are required to have administrative experience, and others are not.

“How people are treated matters; we’re being watched by parents and peers,” Berggren said. “It matters that we do the right thing.”

Digital learning initiative approved

After hearing input from the communication department, the board voted to support the 21st Century Digital Learning Initiative for the 2012-13 school year at its meeting March 12.

An informational session for parents will take place at the DCPTA meeting Thursday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the DC High School media center.

Lift station repairs to be discussed April 9

The school board will meet an hour early April 9, at 6 p.m., to discuss the west-side lift station with the Cokato City Council, Powers said.

The high school/middle school complex is connected to the city sewer, and the west-side lift station services the school, Powers said.

He informed the school board that the lift station was inadequate and in disrepair, and the city of Cokato wants to discuss sharing the cost of repairing it.

Students excited about new milk, prom

“A lot of people are excited about the milk,” student representative Katie Salden informed the board.

The DC and Litchfield school districts have been invited by its milk provider, Agropur, to be part of a pilot trial to serve students milk which can be stored at room temperature.

The milk is made using a special type of pasteurization that heats the milk to 280 degrees for a very short time to remove dangerous organisms.

At first, people were a little leery, and thought they would be drinking hot milk, Salden said.

Realizing it will be served cold, they are looking forward to it, especially being able to use straws.

Students are also looking forward to the flashback-themed prom Saturday, May 12, Salden said. Each photo opportunity will feature a different decade.

Odds and ends

In other business, the board:

• approved spending up to 75 percent of the 2012-13 budget in 2011-12.

• approved the ratification of the contract with the buildings and grounds supervisor.

The contract includes a 2 percent increase in salary in year one, and a 1.25 percent increase in year two. It also includes minor adjustments to the health care savings plan contribution, health insurance, dental insurance, and uniform allowance.

• accepted the end-of-the-year retirements of Sandra Jones as middle school social worker, and Kathleen Eggert as part-time media center paraeducator.

• accepted the end-of-the-year resignations of Michael Lajko as high school vocal music instructor; Erin Holbrook as part-time high school German instructor; Brain Bessingpas as head cross-country and track and field coach; Tracy Kraemer as school nurse; and Karen Ness as high school family and consumer science teacher.

• approved the employment of Michael Smith as the summer marching band drumline instructor.

• approved child care leaves for Jessica Luebker and Kristin Glur.

• accepted a donation of $190 from the DCPTA for the math masters competition for the middle school math league; a $1,500 grant, applied for by high school science teacher Andy Hegdahl, from the Southwest Initiative Foundation to support the YES! Team’s recycling project; a $10 donation to Dassel Elementary from the Wells Fargo Community Support Campaign and Nicole Christopher; and 1,000 books from Read Indeed to the high school service learning project, which will be donated to children in Costa Rica and Peru.

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