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Stratford will keep dean position

The Stratford Board of Education on Monday decided to keep the dean of students/activities director position in the future. Travis Grubbs, the current dean of students/activities director, is resigning from the job at the end of this school year to become the new Rib Lake schools superintendent.

Dr. Nathan Lehman, who starts working on Friday, July 1, as the new Stratford schools superintendent and Janeen LaBorde, Stratford middle/ high school principal, will interview candidates for the position and recommend a hire at the next school board meeting.

The job makeup is 80 percent for dean of students work and 20 percent for activities director. The dean of students works with troubled children to avoid truancy issues, along with student discipline and their mental health needs.

School board members felt the dean of students/activities director position is too valuable to no longer have in the future, especially with students requiring more mental health services following the COVID-19 pandemic. They didn’t want to eliminate the dean of students/activities director job and then give LaBorde and the school counselors an increased workload next school year.

In other school news:

n Jeannie Tichy, Stratford School Board vice president, requested school board members discuss the failed April schools referendum and how they could prepare to hold another referendum during the fall midterm election on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The deadline is Tuesday, Aug. 30, for school boards to approve referendum questions be added to the Nov. 8 election ballot.

School board members will talk with Edgar school board members to discover whether they felt it made a difference to hire a marketing firm to pass a referendum in a third attempt in April. The school district attempted to market the referendum without professional help in a second referendum.

Tyler Skaya, Stratford school board treasurer, said his initial thought was the school district could create its own marketing information and mail it to school district taxpayers, instead of hiring a referendum marketing firm that costs an estimated $12,000.

He’d want the school district to mail a postcard to school district residents to let them know a schools referendum is going to be on the Nov. 8 election ballot. Then, he’d want the school district to mail a packet with detailed information on the referendum to school district residents. Finally, right before the Nov. 8 election, he’d want the school district to mail a postcard to school district residents to remind them to vote.

n The school board voted on a 3 percent increase in yearly salary for administrators and teaching staff during the 2022-23 school year, while also approving LaBorde’s request for an increase in professional development for staff in addition to their 3 percent increase in pay.

n School board members voted to give Rod Huther, school district business manager, a 4.7 percent increase in his yearly salary plus an additional $4,000 per year to be put into his HRA upon retirement for per year for five years. The board will allow Huther up to 10 days of his unused vacation days to be paid out at the end of the fiscal year at his daily salary rate.

n The school board voted to increase the starting pay to $14 per hour for support staff for the 2022-23 school year.

n Scott Winch announced that Norene Laessig has told him she is retiring as activities and buildings secretary at the end of this school year, after working 45 years for the school district. He’d like her name to be placed on a school district bench or concession stand in the future.

n School board members approved the following two staff resignations at the end of this school year: Shane Boe, who has taught in the elementary school for the past 21 years and Amy Wasleske, who has spent the past two years as middle/high school English Language Arts teacher.

n The school board voted to hire Courtney Myszka to replace Boe as an elementary school teacher and Rianna Kubly to replace Wasleske as the middle/ high school English Language Arts teacher for the 2022/23 school year.

n The next school board meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 6, in the high school band room, even though it’s not on the usual second Monday of the month.

n There are 28 students open enrolling into Stratford School District for the 2022-23 school year, while there are 18 students open enrolling out of the school district next school year.

n The school board approved student Kaeden Daul’s trip on June 29-July 2 to Chicago, Ill., for the FBLA National Convention.