Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • ‘It’s going to be a battle’

  • Scott Privratsky found himself in a unique situation Friday afternoon, as he led the school board meeting as the incoming superintendent, but still gave the financial report as the outgoing business manager.


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  • Scott Privratsky found himself in a unique situation Friday afternoon, as he led the school board meeting as the incoming superintendent, but still gave the financial report as the outgoing business manager.
    “Hopefully this is the last time I do this,” he said as he discussed the bills with the board. “Then it will be Kathy's (Ellison) job.”
    The main topic of discussion at the meeting was personnel, as the board approved a number of new hires and two resignations.
    “The biggest part of the summer is here, with staffing,” Privratsky said.
    Board members approved the resignations of Dale Weegman, director of the Lake Area Career and Technology Center, and Nathan Larsen, special education teacher at Central Middle School.
    They also approved eight new employees: Tammy Meyer, math coach at CMS; Nicole Herman, kindergarten teacher at Sweetwater; Kevin Nelson, automotive technology instructor at LACTC; Tyler Mund, welcind instructor at LACTC; Sarah Caulfield, grade 4 teacher at Minnie H, Lou Ann Shepherd, grade 5 teacher at CMS; Jared Schlenker, assistant principal at CMS; and Nathan Murray, alternative high school social studies teacher.
    Privratsky said they were excited to find an auto tech instructor, after joining forces with the college for the past school year when a teacher could not be found.
    “I'm glad to have someone in there,” he said. “Hopefully, we'll build the program back to full strength.”
    Privratsky said they were also fortunate to find a welding instructor to replace Al Huckell, who recently retired.
    But, he cautioned, they are not done yet.
    “We still have a few big ones to fill, like the Career and Technology Center Director,” he said, adding, “The one I'm most concerned with is the ROTC instructor.”
    Privratsky said there are over 300 openings across the nation for similar positions and it is a challenge to find a suitable candidate because they must be retired from the military.
    “Mr. Hanson is looking under every rock,” he said. “It's going to be a battle.”
    Other business
    • Ben Bergstrom approached the board and presented them with a check for $2,035 to be used toward the proposed auditorium project.
    He said each year he performs a concert with others as a Chautauqua event and this year they waived the fee and accepted a free-will offering instead. All proceeds were passed on to the board to support a fine arts center.
    • Privratsky said the replacement of carpet in the CMS library just got a little more expensive.
    “When the old carpet was pulled up, it was discovered that tile containing asbestos was present under the old carpet,” he said. “We do not have any choice but to hire the removal and monitoring of the process.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The board approved hiring Heinen Environmental at a cost of $13,825.
    • The board approved a number of tuition waiver requests, which allows families from other districts to send their children to Devils Lake schools: Kelly and Jeanne Durbin, Brad and Jamie Schneider and Craig and Judy Thornby, all of Lakota; Kevin Alexander, Shawn and Katie Banet, and Kirsten Nelsen, all of Leeds; Wayne and Donna Rance and Kurt and Sandi Weaver, all of Starkweather; and Corey and Bonnie Erickson of Minnewaukan.
    • Official election results were tallied and approved, solidifying the positions of LeeAnn Johnston and Paul Goulding for three more years.
    Johnston received 384 votes and Goulding received 391. There were a total of 41 write-in votes for 20 different people.
    • At a previous meeting the board agreed to add two half-credit classes for incoming freshmen and at the Friday meeting they amended the board policy to reflect the change.
    Through 2015, students will need the current required 24 credits for graduation, but the class of 2016 and beyond will require 25.
    • The board approved a bid from Advanced Business Methods, for the purchase of two copiers. It will cost the district $1,601 per month for five years. The current lease payment is $2,409.04 per month.
    “It's not often new equipment saves you money,” Privratsky said.

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