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Legacy Garden planned for Rib Lake elementary campus



Teachers of the kindergarten classes at Rib Lake Elementary have come together to keep the memory of Brandy Schafer alive.

Brandy Schafer was a beloved kindergarten teacher who lost her battle with cancer in early March. Since then she has been deeply missed by her family, friends, and community members.

On Thursday night, kindergarten teachers, Dena Dobbs and Megan Jonasen, proposed a Legacy Garden project to the board members.

A Legacy Garden is an outdoor learning environment where all elementary students and faculty can go to find a quiet place to read, or just use as a quiet place to remember someone they have lost close to them.

Board member Rollie Thums asked Dobbs “You don’t want this to be called the ‘Brandy Schafer Memorial?”

Dobbs answered with “No, we decided to possibly have a dedication stone with a special saying on it. I want this space to be where it can honor anyone who has passed away, not just people who knew Brandy or her family.”

District Administrator Rick Cardey praised Dobbs and Jonasen for bringing this project to the board’s attention and thought it would be a great addition to the campus.

Dobbs also said “I have spoken with Jennifer [Brandy’s mother] and Kody [Brandy’s husband] and they also have said that it is a great idea and would be a great way to heal as a family.”

The plan for the garden is start simple with perennial plants, benches or picnic tables that could be engraved later. The cost for this would be covered through various donations that have come pouring in since Brandy passed away.

The Legacy Garden will also be a place of learning for the students.

Currently there is $600 in a fund from the Pride Pump donations to cover start-up costs. The start date for this project has yet to be decided.

In other business: Heather Weik, was presented with a framed write up that was printed in The Star News to recognize her achievement as being picked as Taylor County Educator of the Month.

Stacy Tlusty is Board President, Jason Dananay is Vice President, Jackie Mohr is Clerk, Amanda Treffinger is Treasurer.

Depository will continue to be Nicolet, however Prevail and Forward bank will be named alongside. The Forward bank hopes to have the Rib Lake branch up and running this fall. The Nicolet account will be slowly phased out and a Forward account will be created in the future.

• Newspaper publication will continue to be The Star News.

• Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) Delegate is Stacy Tlusty. Alternate is Jason Dananay.

• Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) 9 representative is Jason Dananay.

Committee assignments are:

• Personnel Committee members are Stacy Tlusty, Jackie Mohr, and Nicole Glenzer.

• Facility Committee members are Rollie Thums and Jason Dananay.

• Policy Committee member is Amanda Treffinger.

• School Forest Committee member is Rollie Thums.

• Safety Committee member is Nicole Scheller.

• Athletic Committee members are Stacy Tlusty and Jason Dananay.

Westboro School Forest will be put up for sale on the Wisconsin Surplus website for a minimum bid of $24,000. This posting will be on the website for three weeks. Proceeds from this sale would go towards the school forest of Rib Lake.

There are an estimated 200 students registered for summer school.

There is $7,000 grant given to improve the breakfast program. With this money, they will buy a new steam table, to give kids better access to fresh fruits and vegetables, along with a possible neon marketing sign for kids to read so they know what’s for breakfast that day.

A $16,555 mental health grant was given to the district to start a Get Kids Ahead program.

Cardey applied for a Department of Workforce Development (DWD) grant which is in the amount of $5,000. If awarded this grant, the district plans to use the funds to update the welding equipment in the shop.

Cardey said “If we get this grant, we would still have to invest $10,000 to fund the equipment, but I think it would be a great improvement to the shop.”

Middle school and high school principal Kirsten Budimlija reviewed the schedule for the graduating seniors for the week of May 23. Wednesday May 25 will be senior awards night at 7 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. May 27, at 7 p.m. is the graduation ceremony in the high school gymnasium.

Elementary school principal John Dallmann reported on past and future activities: Third grade will be going to Lambeau field for their field trip this year. Fourth grade will be going to Madison for their field trip. May 26 at 1:30 p.m. is kindergarten graduation.

Budimlija gave her middle school and high school report also emphasizing how busy the month of May is for staff and students. Field trips and award days are happening for the middle school and high school in the next few weeks. She added along with that that 8th grade recognition is Tuesday May 24 at 7 p.m. High school orientation for 8th graders will be that morning during the school day.

On a separate note, Dallmann commented by saying “Rib Lake School had more events at State Solo and Ensemble than both the Wausau schools put together. The brass ensemble received a perfect score at state.”

Budimlija added “The brass ensemble was awarded an ‘Exemplary Performance Award’ which to my understanding is pretty rare and is quite an honor to receive that.”

Resignations for the upcoming school year include: Karen Rusch as Forensics coach, Irene Pipkorn as elementary lunch server, Brian Abel as a football coach, Michelle Rhodes as National Honor Society Advisor.

The board approved hiring Erin Probst for the position of math intervention teacher. Probst will be graduating UW-Green Bay this spring with a minor in math.

WIAA membership renewal is due and it has to be completed by August.

Elementary and middle school PA systems have to be updated. The elementary sound system is 22 years old. It is estimated to cost $12,921 for the Elementary school PA system and the middle school needs a new amplifier at the cost of $4,941. Cardey said “I would like to have this done before summer school starts.” The board approved these expenditures.

Dallmann discussed with the board the possibility of installing handicap accessible doors for the middle and high school entrances. Estimates from Huotari Construction to install the controls and McMillan Electric to do the electric have been submitted.

Hartford Insurance Agency has been chosen as the student insurance of choice at a bid of $7,853.