Natalie Knutson, Chair

Committees: Finance Committee; Buildings & Grounds; Policy Committee; Wellness Committee

Negotiations: Special Education Paraprofessionals; District-wide Individual Contracts

Term ends: 2024

Email: nknutson@fergusotters.org

Melanie Cole, Vice Chair

Committees: Spec Ed. Coop & Region I Board; Meet & Confer

Negotiations: Certified staff; Special Education Paraprofessionals

Term ends: 2026

Email: mcole@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-205-4854

Kirby Anderson, Treasurer

Committees: Finance Committee; 544 Education Foundation; Activities Committee

Negotiations: Principals

Term ends: 2026

Email: kirbyanderson@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-770-7161

Melissa Hermes, Clerk

Committees: Curriculum Review; Policy Committee

Negotiations: Certified staff; Food Service

Term ends: 2026

Email: mhermes@fergusotters.org

Matthew Lemke

Committees: MN State HS League & Co-Curricular; Activities Committee; Finance Committee; Buildings & Grounds

Negotiations: Certified staff; Principals; Secretaries & Custodians

Term ends: 2024

Email: mlemke@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-731-1385

Stephen Vigesaa

Committees: Activities Committee; Policy Committee; Buildings & Grounds; Staff Development

Negotiations: Principals; Secretaries & Custodians; Title 1 Paras & Para Educators

Term ends: 2024

Email: svigesaa@fergusotters.org

Phone: 507-993-5941

The regular meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 544 was held in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. Chair Natalie Knutson called the meeting to order at 7:15 am. The following members were present: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy (Melissa) Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa. 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. 

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

No acknowledgements were presented. 

Reports were presented by: 

  • Doug Anderson - Facilities Supervisor 
  • Scott Colbeck - Elementary Principal (Adams/McKinley)
  • Ivan Hirst - Middle School Principal
  • Mark Anderson - High School Principal
  • Jeff Drake - Superintendent

General Consent Items

The following consent agenda was presented for approval: 

  1. Minutes from the regular School Board meeting held on August 14, 2023
  2. Bills were reviewed by Kirby Anderson and Missy Hermes 
  3. Personnel

Support Staff Resignations:

  • Emily Borowski, Student Support; effective 8/14/2023
  • Tianna Benson, special education paraprofessional; effective 8/15/2023
  • Myrna Minoza, para educator; effective 8/16/2023
  • Theresa Herzberg, student support aide; effective 8/17/2023
  • Jessica Avila Halderson, early childhood classroom assistant; effective 8/19/2023

Support Staff Hires:

  • Julie Johnson; Title 1 Paraprofessional @ McKinley; effective 8/14/2023
  • Cathy Barker, special education paraprofessional @ KSS; effective 8/30/2023
  • Kiera Cox, student support aide (5 hrs/day) @ Adams; effective 8/31/2023
  • Savanna Fremont, student support aide (5 hrs/day) @ McKinley; effective 8/31/2023
  • Matthew Opatz, position change from night lead custodian @ KSS to elementary head custodian @ Cleveland; effective 8/28/2023
  • Thomas Hagge, para educator @ Adams; effective 8/30/2023
  • Holly Salveson, special education paraprofessional @ KSS; effective 8/30/2023
  • Jaxon Knick, special education paraprofessional @ KSS; effective 8/30/2023
  • Sarah Stoen, custodian @ KSS; effective 9/5/2023
  • Coby Laurent, custodian @ KSS; effective 9/11/2023

Certified Staff Hires:

  • Myrna Minoza; Reading Interventionist teacher @ McKinley; effective 8//28/2023
  • Heather Heikes, elementary teacher @ School of Choice - contract increase of .3770 FTE (total of .8142 FTE); effective 8/28/2023 

Certified Staff Resignation:

  • Eliza Robertson; special education teacher @ KSS; effective 9/1/2023

        2023-24 Individual Contracts:

  • Jody Kidder, Student Services Coordinator: effective 8/31/2023-6/1/2024
  • Bryan Warren, School, Family & Community Liaison; effective 9/5/2023-8/15/2024

        2023-24 Overload Contracts:

  • Joel Heikes, overload contract of .1667 FTE; effective 2023-24 school year
  • Leah Koalska, overload contract of .07 FTE; effective 2023-24 school year

Matthew Lemke moved to approve the consent agenda. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously. 

Old Business: 

None 

New Business: 

  1. Missy Hermes moved to approve the Community Education Trip Request to France (06/04/2024 - 06/12/2024). The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously. 
  2. Melanie Cole moved to approve the 2023-24 Lakes Country Service Cooperative ECFE Consortium Membership. The motion was seconded by Missy Hermes and carried unanimously. 
  3. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the Agreement between East Side Glass Company, Inc. (contractor), R.A. Morton & Associates, LLC (construction manager) and Zerr Berg Architects (architect) and the Fergus Falls Public Schools for the Phase II Lincoln Project - 8B Aluminum Doors and Windows (L&M). The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously.
  4. Stephen Vigesaa moved to approve the Agreement between Gast Construction Company, Inc. (contractor), R.A. Morton & Associates, LLC (construction manager) and Zerr Berg Architects (architect) and the Fergus Falls Public Schools for the Phase II Lincoln Project - 6A Carpentry (L&M). The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously. 
  5. Melanie Cole moved to approve the Agreement between Sparky’s Welding & Fabrication, LLC. (contractor), R.A. Morton & Associates, LLC (construction manager) and Zerr Berg Architects (architect) and the Fergus Falls Public Schools for the Phase II Lincoln Project - 5B Steel Erection (LO). The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously. 
  6. Stephen Vigesaa moved to approve the Agreement between Solar Midwest Inc. dba Daylight Specialties, LLC. (contractor), R.A. Morton & Associates, LLC (construction manager) and Zerr Berg Architects (architect) and the Fergus Falls Public Schools for the Phase II Lincoln Project - 8C Skylights (L&M). The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously. 
  7. Missy Hermes moved to approve the Agreement between K & K Fabrication, Inc. (contractor), R.A. Morton & Associates, LLC (construction manager) and Zerr Berg Architects (architect) and the Fergus Falls Public Schools for the Phase II Lincoln Project - 5A Steel Supply (MO). The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously. 
  8. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the Agreement between Full Spectrum Finishing, Inc. (contractor), R.A. Morton & Associates, LLC (construction manager) and Zerr Berg Architects (architect) and the Fergus Falls Public Schools for the Phase II Lincoln Project - 9E Painting (L&M). The motion was seconded by Missy Hermes and carried unanimously. 
  9. Kirby Anderson moved to approve the Agreement between Fergus Drywall, Inc. (contractor), R.A. Morton & Associates, LLC (construction manager) and Zerr Berg Architects (architect) and the Fergus Falls Public Schools for the Phase II Lincoln Project - 9A Gypsum System (L&M). The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously. 
  10. Melanie Cole moved to approve the Agreement between Camrud-Foss Concrete Construction, Inc. (contractor), R.A. Morton & Associates, LLC (construction manager) and Zerr Berg Architects (architect) and the Fergus Falls Public Schools for the Phase II Lincoln Project - 3A Cast-In-Place Concrete (L&M). The motion was seconded by Matthew Lemke and carried unanimously. 
  11. Matthew Lemke offered the resolution and moved for its adoption:

Resolution for Designation of an Identified Official with Authority for Education Identity and Access Management

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Professional Educator Licensing Standards Board (PELSB), and Office of Higher Education (OHE) require annual designation of an Identified Official with Authority (IOwA) for each local educational agency that uses the Education Identity and Access Management (EDIAM) system. The IOwA is responsible for authorizing, reviewing, and recertifying user access for their local educational agency in accordance with the State of Minnesota Enterprise Identity and Access Management Standard, which states that all user access rights to Minnesota state systems must be reviewed and recertified at least annually. The IOwA will authorize user access to State of Minnesota Education secure systems in accordance with the user’s assigned job duties, and will revoke that user’s access when it is no longer needed to perform their job duties.

The Fergus Falls School Board designates Jeffrey Drake as an IOwA to authorize user access to State of Minnesota Education secure websites for the Fergus Falls Public School District 0544-01.

The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and upon roll call vote being taken, the following voted in favor thereof: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa;

and the following voted against same: 

None. 

Whereupon said motion was declared duly passed and the resolution adopted.  

  1. Melanie Cole moved to approve the Community Survey Proposal from School Perceptions. The motion was seconded by Matthew Lemke and carried unanimously. 

The next regular School Board meeting will be held at 5:15 pm Monday, September 11, 2023 in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. 

Stephen Vigesaa made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 am. The motion was seconded by Matthew Lemke and carried unanimously. 

A work session followed the regular board meeting.

Melissa Hermes, Clerk