Herald and Journal, Oct. 22, 2001

More consolidation discussion, students earn statewide acclaim

By Lynda Jensen

A report by school board member Jim Fowler highlighted the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school board meeting a week ago Monday.

Fowler gave a positive report of the last meeting with the Lester Prairie consolidation committee.

The Oct. 15 meeting focussed on curriculum, which Lester Prairie school board members emphasized in the past.

Curriculum advisors from both schools collaborated to make a direct comparison of school offerings, compared to other schools, Fowler said.

"I think we all came away quite impressed and excited about the possiblities," Fowler said.

"How many more meetings will there be?" asked board member Richard Lammers. Lammers pointed out that Lester Prairie is still meeting with the Glencoe-Silver Lake district about the same issue.

Fowler indicated that he couldn't put a number on the possible meetings, and that he was pleased with the progress made so far.

"Are we still going to be sitting here a year from now, while they meet with other schools?" Lammers asked.

"I thought we voted about a deadline," commented board member Ken Zimmerman.

"We are all 'meeting'ed out, but we want to be fair." acting chairman Randy Heuer said.

The next meeting could answer financial questions, Heuer said.

"We will know by the next meeting, or the one after," Heuer predicted. Otherwise, they can only go meeting to meeting, he said.

The next consolidation committee meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12 at the Lester Prairie school.

The public may attend the meeting legally, but the committee is not required to ask for public input.

Board member Charles Weber indicated that he thought the public felt uniformed about the consolidation issue. He noted that 30 percent of people with children at the HLWW district take the Journal, and indicated it may be a good idea to advertise a monthly column about the consolidation there, after the election.

"We should let them know the background and every step of the way," Weber said.

Heuer questioned the cost and logistics of this venture, and then instructed Weber to form a committee to do this - or assign the work to an existing committee.

Weber made a motion to assign the consolidation committee the duty of coming up with costs and logistics of informing the public on a monthly basis about the consolidation issue.

Turning to a separate subject, the board turned its attention to the impressive achievement of a large group of HLWW students, who recently garnered the most awards of any single school district in the state at the 2001 MEME Composition Contest.

"The contest does not distinguish by school size, so our students were competing with students from much larger schools," music teacher Dawn Kalvig wrote in a report submitted to the board.

For a list of students and their achievements, see the boxed area.

The board recognized Kalvig and her students for their achievements.

The board also welcomed new district secretary Marilyn Greeley, who replaced Vivian Mahlstedt. Mahlstedt purchased a business of her own, but is staying to help train the new secretary.

Hoheisel noted that an additional seven students were added to enrollment for 7-12 compared to last year.

Howard Lake and Winsted Elementaries Principal Julie Millerbernd drew attention to a message by President George Bush that elementary children were asked to donate $1 each for Afghanistani children. The deadline for giving was Wednesday, Oct. 17. All money collected will be sent to the White House, Millerbernd said.

Hoheisel reported that Cindy Decker, who is in charge of keeping the web site updated, has been down the past few months due to illness in her family.

In other matters, the board:

· approved the following election judges: Adrian Duske, Kathleen Sexton, and Irene Woitalla for the Waverly polling site; Margaret Barth, Patricia Diers, and LeAnn Horsch for the Howard Lake polling site; and Imelda Marshall, Karen Schoen, and Rosemary Stifter for the Winsted site.

· accepted the resignation of bus driver Deb Hanson.

· set two dates for negotiations with para educators and teachers, Monday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 10.

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