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Hoeppner resigns; board OKs Trap Shooting Club

At the New Richmond Board of Education’s April 21 meeting, the school board accepted the resignation of Starr Elementary Principal Andy Hoeppner, who will move with his family to Saudi Arabia for a teaching job at Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

“I have decided that it is time for me to take a new phase in my life, because I am getting older,” Hoeppner said. “I have realized that I need to take advantage of opportunities as they come. I will be back.”

District Administrator Jeff Moberg and the rest of the school board sent Hoeppner off with a round of applause, many congratulations and praise for his time as principal at Starr Elementary.

“I really enjoyed the three years I got to work with Andy and I think he did a great job at Starr Elementary,” Moberg said. “He did a nice job of changing the culture there. I think you can tell the difference in the attitude of the staff and how they view working there as well as how they approach everything. I believe that is a direct correlation to the positive energy Andy brings every day. We wish him the best and we will miss him and his sense of humor.”

The school board also approved a proposal from the Trap Shooting Club to become an official club at the high school level. According to head coach Jessica Marschinke and Athletic Director Casey Eckardt, many high schools in the area are developing clubs and the group has more than 20 students who are extremely interested in joining such a club.

“It is a growing movement across the state to add more and more of these clubs at the high school level and there are a number of area schools that are involved in this,” Eckardt said. “This is another lifelong activity for students and gives some of those students who are less inclined to join some of the traditional activities something to be a part of.”

Schools with trap shooting programs in the area include Hudson, St. Croix Central, Rice Lake, Osceola, River Falls and Eau Claire high schools. The activity would be supported mostly by registration fees and sponsorships from area hunting clubs, but it would occasionally need funds for transportation for some events. The season would run from April through June.

“The students would be required to shoot at least two rounds per week and there are opportunities for them to take part in tournaments and state, but I don’t know that we will get that far this year,” Marschinke said. “I don’t know that we will get that far or take part in that this year, but we just wanted to get things off the ground at this point and get something started.”

The board approved the club unanimously, but not before Marschinke assured them that the students have been made aware that they are not allowed to bring their guns or ammo to school for practice, but must instead go home to pick up those items after school.

Also approved at the meeting was the 2014-15 Athletic Code revisions as presented by Eckardt. Among the revisions made was the addition of a “School Ground Penalty,” which states that any athlete found to have supplied drugs or alcohol on school grounds will have their penalties doubled. In addition, a “Suspension Completion Criteria” clause will force athletes who are suspended from competition for athletic code violations to complete the season in the sport in a satisfactory manner for the suspension to be considered served.

“There have been a few instances where a player has been suspended from a sport … and they violate the code during the winter or spring and now they want to participate in another sport so that they don’t want to miss any of their main sport. So they will go out for another sport, serve their suspension, then suddenly quit the sport,” Eckardt said. “That was a loophole for those athletes so that they could still participate in their main sport. Now, they have to complete the season to the satisfaction of the coach before that suspension is considered served.” 

Other business 

— Re-elected board members Marilyn Duerst, Chris Skoglund and Paula Kolbeck took the Oath of Office during the meeting. The three board members were re-elected to the New Richmond Board of Education in the April 1 election. 

— The board approved six resignations, including two teachers and four extra-curricular positions, the hiring of two extra-curricular positions and the hiring of the sixthgrade Camp Wapo chaperones. 

— The board approved the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce membership. 

— The board approved the Spring 2015 high school music department Major Magnitude Field Trip to Chicago. 

— The board approved the 2014-15 Athletic Code revisions.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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