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District's first student representative sworn in during Montevideo School Board meeting

MONTEVIDEO -- Montevideo School Board members re-elected David Lipps as chair and Darin Balken as vice chair for the coming year, and then made a little history.

Board members joined to host a swearing-in ceremony for the district's first student representative to the board of education, Dakota Frazier. The high school senior will serve as an ex-officio board member and participate in board discussions.

Superintendent Luther Heller said the decision to include a student representative was made to encourage student input and involvement, and to help keep the focus on students.

Faculty members and students were among those attending the meeting to witness the swearing in ceremony.

Board members also approved a memorandum of agreement with the local education association to pursue the Race to the Top grant funding.

The federal government will be awarding the funds to 10 states.

Participating schools must adopt reform initiatives including merit pay, data-driven curriculum and enhanced accountability measures, according to published reports.

Heller said Montevideo does not have a quality-compensation merit system in place.

The memorandum requires that the district and instructors meet to begin negotiating how to institute what is often referred to as Q-Comp.

He said board members want to pursue the Race to the Top in part because many of the initiatives it promotes are already part of the district's own goals. Also, board members want the district to be at the table and have a voice in the process should the state be awarded Race to the Top funding.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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