Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 24, 2002

LP teacher's request for one-year denied

By Julie Yurek

A request from teacher Robert Kuehl for a one-year leave of absence was denied by the Lester Prairie School Board at last Monday's meeting.

Kuehl has accepted a teaching position at Westonka High School in Mound for the 2002-03 school year. However, he would like the option to return to the Lester Prairie school district if he so chooses.

An approved leave of absence would have ensured Kuehl of a teaching position and his seniority.

Kuehl taught social studies and physical education, and is also the former athletic director. Kuehl has taught in Lester Prairie for 16 years.

"Without prejudice, I motion to deny the request," board member Chester Hoernemann said. "I don't want to set a precedent."

The other board members echoed Hoernemann's statement about not wanting to set a precedent.

CFL says adding on is possible

The estimated budget for the 2002-03 school year was adopted. Total expenditures are looking to be around $3,970,745, or what would be a 1.9 percent increase, Supt. James Redfield said. Last year's total expenditures were $3,896,221.

Total revenues for 2002-03 is estimated to be $3,653,527, down $188,094 from the 2001-02 budget of $3,841,621.

Redfield informed the board about the visit from Bob Buresh from the Department of Children, Family, and Learning (CFL). Buresh's visit was to look at the school and determine if it would be possible to add on to the school, if a joint use facility was approved.

"The meeting went good," Redfield said.

Buresh said the school needs updating in terms of more space, such as in the food service, cafeteria, science rooms, and art room, Redfield said.

"The project could be done," Redfield said.

LP Hall of Fame?

In a different matter, Dean of Students Joe Miller informed the board about the school possibly creating a "Hall of Fame" for athletics.

The booster club would assist, but it would be the school that would establish it, Miller said.

A person would have to be nominated and probably an all-conference athlete. However, the criteria needs to be somewhat broad because there were years when the school was not in a conference, Miller said. Up to two people would be inducted per year.

Hoernemann was concerned about how students who excel at academics would be recognized.

Board member Fred Blaser agreed with him. "We need to have a parallel way of recognizing academic students," Blaser said.

"We have the National Honor Society," Miller said.

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