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Members of the United South Central School Board met twice on Tuesday, April 19. In addition to their regular 5:30 p.m. meeting, Board members held a work session beginning an hour earlier.

The main objective of the working session was to discuss how to find a replacement for Superintendent Keith Fleming, who will be retiring at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

“The big decision we have to make is whether the board hires someone for a full-time or part-time position,” commented Board Member Jon Feist. “Also, can the job be combined with other tasks?”

Fleming shared his thoughts on the matter.

“I think the current administrative structure is set up for full-time employment,” he said. “Opting for a combined job, such as superintendent/school principal, limits your candidates.”

Feist agreed and offered his support in seeking a full-time superintendent.

“If you look at all the schools around us, I think you’ll find they all have full-time superintendents,” said President Mike Schroeder.

“And when we looked into the possibility of a part-time superintendent in the past, we found that we didn’t save a lot of money,” Board Member Tom Legred added.

The council had previously decided to work with the South Central Service Cooperative (SCSC) in the search for a new superintendent.

“SCSC will come in June to review the process with the board,” said Board Member Dale Stevermer. “Then they will come back in November to gather feedback from the board and the community. As we are members of the cooperative, the cost of their service is only $150.

During the regular meeting, Elementary Principal Jennifer Taylor reported that enrollment for K-6 grades was 358 students.

“Minnesota comprehensive assessment testing is in full swing in our elementary grades,” she shared. “The kindergarten roundup was last Thursday and we had three full sessions.”

She also said children and teachers were hoping for warmer weather.

“Everyone would like to go out” she mentioned. “We hope to be able to do field trips when the weather improves.”

Taylor also told board members that $20,000 was raised through the Book Blast initiative.

“We thought we would try something new in elementary school,” Taylor explained. “It was part of the Books are Fun program. The end result was that our children and the school all received books and had a lot of fun.

High school principal Julie Stauber shared that enrollment for grades 7-12 stood at 318 students, one more than last month.

“The end of the school year is approaching and graduation projects are in full swing”, she says. “We have kept busy reviewing scholarship applications.

She noted that attendance at parent-teacher conferences held in March was not as high as when virtual conferences were also offered as an option.

“Last news to share is that Hannah Meyer is our Renaissance student of the month,” Stauber commented.

Student representative Lillian Neubauer also reported.

“USC has been busy running FFA contests,” she noted. “And I’m happy to report that a number of our students have qualified for the state.”

Fleming concluded the reports, saying it was nice to see things back to normal.

“We are going to hold our Price is Right fundraiser for the first time in two years. We toured kindergarten for the first time in two years and will have the Lions Sports Banquet for the first time in two years,” Fleming shared, then he turned his thoughts to St. Paul. “Legislators are back after their Easter vacation. Reports say things will likely end in a stalemate.

In other cases counsel:

– Approval of an LTFM (Long Term Facilities Maintenance) budget agreement with the Southern Plains Education Cooperative.

– Adopted the draft capital budget 2022-2023.

– Accepted the resignations of English teacher Erin Hansen, bus driver Neal McClurg, early childhood special education teacher Roselyn Pavel and educational consultant Edna Husman.


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