November 16, 2006 at 6:41 a.m.
Reisnouer came to North Branch in 1993. He worked as an instructor, Special Education Director, Principal, Assistant Superintendent (under Bob Stepaniak) and was brought in to lead the district two years ago when Stepaniak retired.
Salo observed, “He stepped into the position...when the district needed proven leadership. He has helped us navigate the tough waters of budget adjustments, the opening of a new school, multiple contract negotiations and continued implementation of state and federal academic mandates.”
In a prepared release Reisnouer mentioned that what he’s been most proud of is his relationships with students. “I am hopeful that I made a difference in their lives.” He continued, “The staff, administration and school board are heading in the right direction-- with adequate funding the schools can be even better. It has been a privilege to work with such high quality educators, administrators and school board members...I challenge you to continue to strive for adequate funding and academic and programmatic advancement.”
In other business: The School Board heard a request from Susan Toohey asking to lease the Mainstreet School gymnasium facility on a yearly basis rather than hourly, and to reduce her rate, as she said she has incorporated as a “non-profit sports association” and now qualifies for the district’s rental fee afforded “non profits.”
The original rental fee under the district’s local commercial business category has been $45 an hour. The new fee will go to $22.50 if Community Ed staff determine her gymnastics programs do indeed meet district definitions. Toohey said she switched to non-profit status so she could enroll gymnastics students who are in foster care, etc.
The yearly lease was not supported by the Board, however. The Board members didn’t want to start a precedent and open the door to any other organization that may wish to lay claim to a school facility for a year at a time, saying it impairs the district flexibility to respond to a variety of facility use requests.
Toohey said her request was for ease of her budgeting and to reduce “paperwork.”
Saltis, who has a child enrolled in Toohey’s Sunrise Gymnastics Academy, abstained from discussion.
The Board also heard a presentation by several teachers involved in the districtwide initiative called Education, Research and Development or E R & D.
They explained some of the coursework teachers take to expand and hone their instructional skills and stressed the importance of making E R & D available here.
Karla Meemken, a presenter and Primary School instructor, also told the Board that the teacher’s union wants to continue its positive partnership with the Board and the district offering programs like this is one of those mutually beneficial programs.
The E R & D courses have been mostly offered in math, reading and instructional strategies. This began in 2005 and already 21 North Branch teachers have taken more than one class.
Meemken said achieving actual student academic improvement, however, is dependent on suitable resources and manageable class sizes so teachers can apply in the classroom what they have learned.
For donations: the Board officially accepted $138 from Nelson’s Market; $200 in Kemps milk caps; $2,000 through the John Pinsonneault Memorial Scholarship Fund; $1,000 from the Rick Doyle Memorial Scholarship Fund; $967 Target Corp. charge card program; $2,573 from North Branch Coaches’ Assoc. and the wrestling booster group gave $1,350 for jackets and $138 in a Wells Fargo/Chad Van Dyke pledge fund.
Also Carla Norelius and Jenn Hallberg presented about $2,000 to the Board from the Change for Schools event that the public health department, Fairview Healthcare and the school district sponsor. The funds are used for health related needs in the district.