Ellsworth School Board President Katie Feuerhelm congratulates the Class of 2022 Valedictorian Brianna Maurer and Salutatorian Ann Lundstrom at the May 9 school board meeting.Photo by Sarah Nigbor
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EHS top Class of 2022 students announced

School board approves projects, personnel changes

By Sarah Nigbor

ELLSWORTH – At the May 9 Ellsworth School Board meeting, Ellsworth High School Principal Mark Stoesz announced the Class of 2022 valedictorian and salutatorian.

“Being that it’s my last year that I get to do this (Stoesz is retiring), I can't think of two more deserving young ladies to honor as the Class of 2022 valedictorian and saluta- torian," Stoesz said. "They are so deserving and such wonderful representatives for our school district.”

He described Valedictorian Brianna Maurer and Salutatorian Ann Lundstrom as “kind, gracious, wonderful human beings.”

A group of students have been battling back and forth for the honors since ninth grade. It’s been fun to watch them strive to reach their goals, Stoesz said. Maurer plans to attend UW-Eau Claire to study actuarial science. Lundstrom will head to UW-Madison, where she plans to major in English followed by medical school.

Projects approved

The board approved the following maintenance, transportation and technology purchases/ products:

Grounds/transportation equipment: Kubota Zero-Turn Mower (trade-in) at $10,000; a Landpride mower (trade-in) pulled by the tractor, $13,000 Technology: Chromebook/iPad replacements at EES, $59,534. The school district tries to replace 200 per year; half will be funded through Common School Funds. EES school stau laptops, $50,000; ClassLink sign- in system, $8,000 (for two-step authentication); laser engraver for the Fab Lab, $13,000 Maintenance: Three high school lunch tables, $6,000; middle school music risers/ shell, $29,980.87; middle school lunch table, $2,000; middle school volleyball nets/ standards, $9,585 (two-thirds district cost); pool tarp motor (for rolling up tarp), $10,000; pool dome door replacement cycle (concrete work) and replace two single emergency doors, $10,000 plus shipping costs Grounds: Asphalt, $21,489, which includes chip sealing high school south lot and middle school main lot, plus patching.

Superintendent Barry Cain said the pool tarp motor is a safety issue for pool stau. “It is quite a chore, as you can imagine, to do this,” Cain said of rolling up the tarp.

The grounds asphalt price, provided by Pierce County Highway Department, came in below the estimated budget, which was $30,000.

“We will not be striping these right away as they are being chip-sealed,” Cain said of the lots. “Hopefully later in the summer. This is the second chip sealing we’ve done on these lots. We're hoping to get five or six years from these lots. It’s an expense that we need to plan for.”

Personnel report

May is a busy time of year for personnel changes. The board approved the following:

Hires: Klaudia Friedrich, EES second grade teacher; Rebecca Syverson, EHS Spanish teacher; Emily Wech, EHS Spanish teacher Resignations: Angela Burow, district-wide occupational therapist; Pilar Freeman, district- wide substitute teacher; Sara Heile, EMS special education teacher; Erin Knegendorf, EES 4YK teacher; Dennis Olson, district- wide substitute teacher; Jordan Petersen, EHS physical education/health teacher; Erin Relyea, EHS special education teacher; Ri- cardo Rodriguez Colon, EES custodian; Mat thew Stacey, EES custodian

Transfers: Kelly Ebbens, from EES second grade teacher to EES fourth grade teacher; Maria Martino , from physical therapist .40 FTE to physical therapist .60 FTE Extra/co-curriculars: Anika Borner, grade level chair – first grade; Lynne Ham ilton, grade level chair – third grade; Renee Helgeson, grade level chair – eighth grade; Jill Hutcheson, EMS building level representative, seventh grade girls basketball head coach, seventh grade boys basketball head coach; Karen Kornmann, department level chair – music, musical general director; Kelly Kyllo, EMS building level secretary; Alyssa Matze, department level chair – FCS/ business ed; Lindsey Paul, grade level chair – second grade; Anne Pechacek, department level chair – social studies; Ashley Pritchard, department level chair – fine arts; Jessica Wiskow, department level chair – pupil services ALICE drills

Twice a year, each school performs an emergency drill, called an ALICE drill, which is required by state law. The school board then hears reports from building administrators on how the drills went.

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. It’s a safety protocol the district trains students to follow in the unlikely event that an armed intruder enters a school building. The training encourag- es stau and students to respond based on their situation. It might be best to lock the door and barricade inside a classroom. Or, it may make the most sense to evacuate the building and head to a safe zone. Alert – Inform people of the threat, giving as much information as possible.

Lockdown – Students and stau can choose to lockdown and barricade the room that they’re in if they determine it’s not safe to evacuate.

Inform – Pass on as much information as possible to others and to first responders, in cluding contacting 911.

Counter – An euort of last resort, if an armed intruder is able to get into a space where there’s people, students are trained to use every euort to stop the intruder instead of being passive victims.

Evacuate – If it’s safe to do so, people are encouraged to evacuate the building and remove themselves from the threat.

EES Principal Mary Zimmerman said their drill went smoothly. Two fifth-grade classrooms need to review barricading, but it was silent throughout the building during the drill, which is what you want.

EMS Principal Tim Conway said this spring, the stau decided to make the ALICE announcement intentionally vague in order to see what teachers might decide to do with less information.

"It was interesting to see the diuerent thought processes,” Conway said. “Most teachers decided to lock down and barricade. A couple decided to evacuate. With ALICE, teachers must make the decision with the information they’re provided.”

EHS Assistant Principal Jason Janke said the drill is meant to be a surprise, even though students are aware usually that it will happen that week. At the high school, no doors were breached and some classrooms chose to evacuate, which they did correctly. However, he noted, kids need to work on their directions or labels. Kids didn’t understand where the “south parking lot” or the “senior hallway” were located.

Other business

• The board voted to designation the Pierce County Journal as the ovcial school dis –

trict newspaper and CCF Bank as the ov cial school district bank.

• The board voted to designate the Wisconsin Local Government Investment Pool, Associated Bank, Hiawatha National Bank, BMO, WESTconsin Credit Union, MidWestOne Bank, Citizens Community Federal (CCF) Bank, American Deposit Management Company and Bank of America as current investment agencies for the district.

• The board approved two 4YK early admittance requests: One for a boy born Sept. 19, the other for a girl born Sept. 2. Early admittance requests are considered after a stau evaluation if the child is born be tween Sept. 1 and Oct. 15.

• The board approved the job descriptions for the business and finance/human re source specialist and payroll/accounts payable specialist positions in the district ovce.

• The school board will meet at 6 p.m. May 24 to go over open enrollment applications, employee wage considerations and superintendent evaluation process training.

May 17, 2022