A special meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 544 was held in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. Chair Melanie Cole called the meeting to order at 7:30 am. The following members were present: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy Hermes, Natalie Knutson, and Stephen Vigesaa. Matthew Lemke was absent. Jeff Drake, Superintendent, Renae Macheledt, Finance Director, and Elaine Jahnke, HR Director, were also present. 

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all present. 

Missy Hermes, clerk, established a quorum. 

Kirby Anderson made a motion to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa  and carried unanimously. 

Reports were presented by: 

  • Renae Macheledt, Finance Director
  • Ehlers and Associates

New Business:

  1. Kirby Anderson moved to approve the revised FY24 long-term facility maintenance plan (LTFM) - revenue and expenditures. The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously.
  2. Stephen Vigesaa moved to approve the Proposed Levy for Taxes Payable 2023 set at the maximum amount of $7,671,286.35. The motion was seconded by Missy Hermes and carried unanimously.

Notice: Public informational meeting regarding proposed property taxes and budgets and proposed and final property tax levy is scheduled at 6 pm Monday, December 12, 2022 in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. 

The next regular School Board meeting will be held at 5:15 pm Monday, October 10, 2022 in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. 

Stephen Vigesaa made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 am. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously.  


Melissa Hermes, Clerk



 Approval Date




On behalf of the Fergus Falls Public School District, I extend a warm welcome.  We are honored that you have entrusted us with the care and education of your child. 

The Fergus Falls Public School District is a special place.  Our mission statement outlines our commitment to each and every child:  “The mission of the Fergus Falls Public Schools is to prepare productive and engaged members of society by creating an environment where all students reach their full potential.”

What will your child’s experience be as a member of our school community?  Children will be surrounded by adults who care about them.  We will provide the necessary support to help ensure that each child is successful.  Children will be challenged.  That’s how new skills are developed and how learning, confidence and leadership is fostered. 

In providing a robust 21st century learning environment - we emphasize the five “Cs” - Core Knowledge, Creative Problem Solving, Communication, Contributing Citizen and Character.  These core competencies ensure that our students will be well-positioned for success wherever their dreams take them.

We pride ourselves on providing a rigorous academic curriculum with a diverse selection of electives.  We support our students with a 1:1 technology initiative to augment instruction, we have strong vocational programs and excellent participation among our students in the arts.  A large percentage of our students are involved in co-curricular activities and our programs are highly respected and competitive.  In summary, we offer the family atmosphere of a small rural school combined with the opportunities typically only found in much larger districts. 

Through the process of discovering and developing their talents, interests and skills, our students are going to make great memories, grow in confidence, become leaders in our school and community and form lifelong friendships.  Once an Otter, always an Otter!

Warmest Regards,

Jeff Drake