April 25, 2019


In 2018, NER graduated 100%, North Woods 88.24%

ISD 2142 Supt. Engebritson, ARI, Kraus-Anderson meet to settle construction problems


The issue of sinking potholes in parking lots, sinking classrooms, the concession stand floor sinking, and back-filling not done at the North Woods and South Ridge schools from the $78.9 million building project eight years ago was on the agenda at the regular ISD 2142 board meeting held Monday at 5 p.m. in the North Woods School. Efforts to contact ARI and Kraus-Anderson to have the problems taken care of had apparently been fruitless, so Supt. Engebritson asked the board for permission to seek legal action. The buildings should be under warranty. Engebritson reported she had a meeting with Architectural Resources Inc. and Kraus-Anderson and they now seemed to want to take care of the problem. She noted it was a very friendly meeting, but she still wanted the right to take legal action. Johnson Controls Inc., the general contractor, hasn't come back. She noted that those with Johnson Controls when the work was done are not there now. The three companies had come to North Woods and South Ridge last August to look at the problems, but had not come back. Threat of a lawsuit seems to have brought action.
Supt. Engebritson reported that Ely has expressed interest through consultant Gary Cerkvenik in collaborating with 2142 beyond the scope of what the district is doing in the Iron Range Schools Collaboration.
She also reported that in 2018, 100 percent of Northeast Range seniors graduated, 92.11 percent from South Ridge, 88.24 percent from North Woods, and 61.54 percent from Cherry. The state average was 83 percent.
North Woods Principal John Vukmanich reported that the eighth-grade students participated in the National Assessment of Educational Progress testing. This test is used to compare the United States education with others worldwide. Just certain schools are chosen.
The New North Woods Robotics Team went to Duluth to compete with 60 other schools and took fifth and also Rookies of the Year.
Vukmanich spoke of Thistledew students coming to North Woods and speaking of how their lives are going.
The board next gave their approval for the final plans for the Cherry Expansion/Renovation.
The board approved a revised 2018-2019 audited budget with $7,400,243 in the Total Fund Balance, with the Total General Fund Balance being $5,912,327, up from $5,104,378 as of June 30, 2017, and $5,643,567 as of June 30, 2018.
An IT (Information Technology) contract with Ed Midwest - LLC, located in Lake Elmo, was approved. The contract for IT consulting services is for four years with 2019-2020 costing $142,098, 2020-21 $144,233, 2021-22 $146,403 and 2022-23 $148,601. Services for any school year can be cancelled 120 days before the annual July 1 start day.
The Custodians Contract for 2018-2020 was approved calling for 2 percent raises each year.
A Memo of Understanding with the Custodians Union over their last grievance was approved also.
Cooperative sponsorship for girls soccer between South Ridge and (host school) Proctor for 2019-2020 was approved.
Support staff hired included Indian Ed. Asst. Ryan Roarty, North Woods custodian James Boutto, South Ridge cook aide Jennifer Johnson, Cherry bus driver Casey Hultgren, North Woods substitute custodian Alex Avestruz, and Tower-Soudan substitute custodian Beth Anderson.
Other hires included Kandi Olson as North Woods head volleyball coach, Kristy Corey as Tower-Soudan Community Ed. substitute, and Lisa Fosness as South Ridge paraprofessional.
Resignations accepted included District Technology Coordinator Vernon Wenberg; South Ridge's Ann Demoski-Roberts and Paula Wolfe - Spec. Ed. teachers; Antoinette Anderson, South Ridge paraprofessional; Cherry preschool teaching assistant Riley Schinderle; South Ridge cook aide Elizabeth Well; Tower-Soudan custodian Robert Amitrano and van driver Henry DeVries; Cherry long-time boys head basketball coach Bob Asuma and assistant coach Mike Aro; North Woods assistant softball coach Dan Manick; and Cherry assistant volleyball coach Angel Wood.
North Woods Business Teacher Todd Olson, Tower-Soudan Special Ed. teacher Kathleen Meier at 0.47 FTE, and Cherry custodian Michelle Patrow and sub van driver Alexander Hayes were terminated.
Title I teachers placed on ULA were Mary Nemec Wood, Kathleen Meier and Amy Nelson at 0.53 FTE, Nathaniel LeBeque 0.50 FTE and Mary Larson 0.20 FTE. Title I is federally funded and when the district receives word it is funded, these teachers will probably be called back. This happens every year.
The meeting then adjourned at 5:46 p.m.

Morcom Township to decide fate of Bear River School

by Judy Kehoe

The Morcom Township Town Board has assigned a committee to do a feasibility study to decide whether to tear down the Bear River School and build a new building or to repair the existing building. The building was built in 1933 and one board member states that buildings have a limited lifetime and then need to be replaced. The school is a well-built brick building that needs some repairs, but as an owner of a relatively new house, maintenance is always ongoing. New isn't always better.
If a new building is built, we will have a new building like everyone else. If we keep the school, we have a piece of local history that includes 3-4 generations. The school is the heart of the community - along with the Bear River Lutheran Church (which is older than the school).
It was also stated that there are few people who care about the old building. I hope this isn't true. If you have an opinion, let the Town Board know. Their next Town Board meeting is May 2 at 6 p.m. at the Bear River School. If you want to know what's going on, go to the meetings, express your opinions, and if you reside in Morcom Township, vote on issues.

'Take A Kid Fishing' day is July 17, sign up now

The Lake Vermilion Guides League is one huge asset for our beautiful lake and the area. Besides taking our vets out for fishing in August, they will be hosting "Take A Kid Fishing" on July 17. This event will take off from the Fortune Bay Marina and is designed to expose youngsters to the joy of fishing.
The Guides League has taken an estimated 1,000 youngsters out fishing since they started this event 10 years ago. This is all done at no cost with the Guides donating this day to the youngsters, as do the volunteer boat operators. The youngsters don't need any equipment, it is all provided along with bait and boats.
The youngsters can sign in starting at 8 a.m. on the 17th of July. The boats and pontoons will head out with Guides and volunteers running them and then it is a day these youngsters won't forget. The Lake Vermilion Guides know the lake and where the fish are. The day starts out with a free breakfast for the volunteer operators and Guides at Fortune Bay.
This day of fishing is open to youngsters from age 10 through 15. After they come in from fishing at 1 p.m., they will be treated to a shore lunch of walleye prepared by Fortune Bay. After the shore lunch, the youngsters will be given prizes donated by local businesses and residents.
If anyone wants to volunteer as a boat operator or to bring their boat or pontoon, call Phil Bakken at 1-218-780-3381. If anyone wants to donate money or prizes, contact Phil or go to the Lake Vermilion Guides League website. Money or prizes can be sent to the Lake Vermilion Guides League at P.O. Box 748, Tower, MN 55790. This event is funded totally from donations, with the Guides donating their time.
Don't wait, youngsters sign up now with Phil. This will be a day you won't forget. Be sure to thank the Lake Vermilion Guides League and the volunteers providing boats.
Good luck fishing.


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