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NLS in west central Minnesota cuts three staff members, gets new auditor

NEW LONDON — The New London-Spicer School Board on Monday approved a resolution to terminate and not renew the contracts of three district teachers or employees.

The three include Helen Baldwin, middle school art instructor; Serena Gutnik, media specialist; and Marcia Knutson, elementary English language learner and reading teacher.

Superintendent Paul Carlson explained that the terminations were due to a combination of the district’s budget reductions, restructuring of teaching assignments and licensure requirements.

The board awarded the district’s three-year auditing contract to Abdo, Eick and Meyers, certified public accounting firm based in Edina. The cost of the contract for this year’s audit will be $15,000 and will increase to $15,300 in 2013-14 and $15,750 in 2014-15, plus additional services at a rate of $100 per hours to $275 per hour.

The district had been served by Willmar accounting firm Conway, Deuth and Schmiesing for a number of years, Carlson said. The cost of last year’s audit was $21,800. Conway, Deuth and Schmiesing’s bids were $18,300 for this year, $18,740 in 2013-14 and $19,215 in 2014-15.

In related action, the board will keep the district’s banking services at United Prairie Bank of Spicer, following the recommendation of administration and School Management Services, the district’s business management provider.

The board also accepted the donation of a plot of land to the east of the middle school building from David Bjorklund, a Colorado resident who previously offered to sell the parcel to the district. In November, board members took no action on the officer.

Carlson suggested that the donation includes no requirement to keep the land, so the district could, in turn, donate the land to the Department of Natural Resources if it is needed for the Glacial Lakes trail.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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