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Referendum projects almost done; teachers of the year honored

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There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the Somerset School District’s referendum projects, reported Tom Walters at the Somerset Board of Education’s Nov. 18 meeting.

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Walters, chair of the facilities committee, said the lockers will be installed in the high school late this week. The roof is almost finished on the addition, Walters said, and the floor and lights will be done in the wrestling room soon.

Middle School principal Sara Eichten reported the basketball backboards and colored bleachers were installed in the middle school gym Monday.

Over the holiday break in December, work on the heating system at the high school and painting will be completed, Walters said.

High School principal Chris Moore said Friday, Dec. 6 will be moving day. He also said students and staff are anxious to be done with the renovations and get into the new spaces.

The Board announced plans for a public open house sometime in January, but no date has been set.

A few things that are behind or on back-order include some LED lighting, radiant heat covers, athletic lockers, the varsity wrestling mat and the roll gates for the concession area, district administrator Randy Rosburg said.

The board approved spending $38,170 on replacing the boys’ and girls’ physical education lockers in the high school.

Some of the referendum projects have been coming in under budget, executive assistant Rochelle Lindquist said. The lockers were the originals and needed to be replaced.

The board approved hiring an Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities teacher at the high school for the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year.

According to teaching and learning committee Chair Kelly Ott, there is a desperate need for an EBD teacher because the ratio of students recommended in one class is 16 to one, but with higher than expected EBD student enrollment, the ratio would be 29 to one if a new teacher wasn’t hired.

As part of the consent agenda, the board approved hiring an elementary school food service point of service person to help with school lunches. They also approved hiring Janelle Thompson as a short term special education teacher.

The school board honored five school district staff in its positive recognition part of the meeting, as well as the State Honors Choir participants.

Choir participants include: Ethan Lammers, Sydney Nelson, Nicole Quaderer, Zeb Rivard, Hannah Rosentreter and Jacob Scott.

Choral instructor Scott Perau said State Choir is one of the most competitive contests in Wisconsin, with hundreds of kids auditioning for a few spots.

Staff honored include: Elementary School teacher of the year Nancy Andersen; Middle School teacher of the year Tracy Yndestad; High School teacher of the year Sarah Colling; Special Education teacher of the year Zach Stephens; and Support Staff employee of the year Lisa Hohler.

Elementary school principal Darren Kern said Andersen exemplifies outstanding service in the classroom and community and is a sounding board for him.

“It’s a treat to walk into her classroom,” Kern said. “The kids just adore her.”

Eichten described media specialist Yndestad as a lifelong learner who has been essential in getting through the remodeling process.

“The library used to be a place kids came to check out books,” Eichten said. “Tracy makes it a place of real learning.”

Moore said Colling immediately came to mind when he was asked to consider the criteria for teacher of the year because she is active in the school and community and does a great job helping students transition from eighth to ninth grade.

Kern described Stephens as working with a unique group of kids, with a talent that is not learned in a college classroom.

“Every once in awhile a teacher comes along that makes you say ‘He really gets kids,’” Kern said.

According to Kern, Hohler is “absolutely the glue that holds the elementary school together.”

He said she makes sure people are heard and their needs are met. Out of all school staff, she would be the most missed if she were to leave, Kern said.

A resolution authorizing a taxable tax and revenue anticipation promissory note for cash flow purposes in the an amount not to exceed $500,000 was also approved by the board.

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Sarah Young
Sarah Young joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News. She covers primarily Hammond, Roberts and Somerset. Previously she free-lanced for the River Falls Journal, Hudson Star-Observer, RiverTown special publications and the Superior Catholic Herald. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. Before working at the New Richmond News, she was an assistant manager at Philander's Grill & Bar in Prescott. She lives in Prescott with her husband Mike and daughter Carolina.  
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