I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.
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WILLMAR — The Willmar School Board chose Laura Warne of Pennock as its new member Monday. Warne was one of two people who expressed interest in the seat left vacant by the resignation of board member Dan Croonquist. He resigned for personal reasons at the end of the Nov. 12 meeting. The board held its regular meeting after the annual Truth in Taxation hearing Monday. No one from the public attended the hearing, at which the board adopted a $4.93 million tax levy for 2104, a 27 percent decrease from the levy paid this year.
WILLMAR — The Willmar School Board will adopt a tax levy and select a new member at its regular meeting Monday. A proposed new policy to be considered would change the legal classification of board members so that the school district would not consider them employees when it comes to releasing data. The board will meet at 6:01 p.m. Monday in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center. The board will begin its meeting later than usual because of laws governing the annual Truth in Taxation hearing.
WILLMAR — Beckie Simenson, assistant principal at Willmar Middle School, has been named the top assistant principal in the state. The Minnesota Association of Secondary Principals selected Simenson for the honor, which was announced this week.
WILLMAR — A task force studying Willmar Public Schools facilities has found some common views as members discuss ways to deal with the district’s crowded and aging buildings. For one thing, no one on the task force thinks that nothing should be done. Everyone on the task force has talked about the need for improved physical education, athletics and fine arts facilities. The group will meet again Dec.
WILLMAR — Seniors in high school probably get tired of all the questions — what are you going to do next year, where are you going to school, what do you want to be. Willmar Senior High teacher Melissa Aaker has given her senior communications students a head start in answering those questions through a job shadowing assignment.
WILLMAR — The Willmar Community Education and Recreation Department got high marks in a consultant’s study of its organization. “I have never been in a school district that has a broader base of programs and services and collaborative opportunities,” said consultant Roger Worner in a report to the Willmar School Board on Monday afternoon. Worner is a professor at St. Cloud State University. Worner’s report came during a board workshop meeting at the Willmar Education and Arts Center. The board’s next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 9 at WEAC.
WILLMAR — Collaboration with area businesses will be a key to the success of a charter school planning to open next fall in Willmar, its organizers said last week. The public, nonprofit secondary school will be operated by Technical Academies of Minnesota and be located in a building on the MinnWest Technology Campus. Board members and consultants from Technical Academies of Minnesota spoke at two informational meetings last week to inform the business community about the proposed school and to seek help with funding and equipment. The school will receive the per-pupil state aid that other
WILLMAR — Daegan Glesne had a rocky adjustment to Willmar Middle School this fall. At first, he turned in assignments late, if he turned them in at all, and he did some shoddy work. He spent time in in-school suspension and did some detention, too. He got grounded at home. Daegan has put it all behind him now, thanks to the Middle School ICU. Like an ICU in a hospital provides extra attention for ill patients, the school’s ICU provides assistance for students who are having trouble finishing their work. Daegan is now earning As and Bs, not the Ds and Fs of earlier in the year.
WILLMAR — The West Central Tribune’s efforts to shed light on unspecified allegations leveled against every single member of the Willmar School Board have hit a roadblock. The School District, through its attorney, has denied several requests for information regarding a Nov. 12 private meeting during which board members discussed the allegations, concluded an investigation and decided against any discipline. After the meeting, one board member, Dan Croonquist, submitted his resignation for personal reasons, effective immediately.
WILLMAR — The Willmar School District has so far not said what allegations against the School Board led to a closed meeting Tuesday night. Board member Dan Croonquist resigned after the closed meeting. According to Mark Anfinson, a Minnesota Newspaper Association attorney, the board’s procedure for closing the meeting to the public violated state law and improperly led to a lengthy private discussion among elected officials about allegations against them. The West Central Tribune made several formal requests Friday afternoon, seeking more information about the situation.