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 -- Willmar School Board candidate Brian Bollig has announced that he is withdrawing from the school board race due to a family emergency. Ballots are already printed, so Bollig's name will still appear on the Nov. 2 ballot. "I want to let people know they should vote for someone else," he said in a telephone interview. "There's a lot of good candidates running." Bollig said his youngest daughter, Gabrielle, 3, was recently diagnosed with leukemia. The situation has caused the family to reorder its priorities, he said, and he would not serve on the school board, even if elected.
WILLMAR -- A series of three information sessions on the Willmar School District operating levy will begin Tuesday. Willmar Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard will host the sessions, titled "A Community Investment," to be held at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, at noon on Oct. 7 and at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14. All of the sessions will be in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W. Those attending the Oct.
WILLMAR -- The West Central Integration Collaborative has been recognized for its work to help young people choose healthier lifestyles. The collaborative is listed among the "Stars of the State" in the 2010 Kids Count Data Book from the Children's Defense Fund of Minnesota. The Kids Count book is released each year. It's a compilation of data to indicate the well-being of children in the state.
Ridgewater College has entered into a formal agreement to provide emergency medical training for the Hong Kong Society of Professional Medical Care. The college and representatives of the society signed the papers to seal the deal this week, while the Hong Kong officials were visiting the Willmar area.
WILLMAR -- A series of free workshops to help high school students and their families choose and apply to colleges begins Monday. Todd Johnson, a Willmar lawyer with a college admissions consulting business, will present the workshops, which are open to the public. Each workshop will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
WILLMAR -- With the $920,000 it gets in one-time help from the federal government, Willmar's schools will be providing assistance for struggling kids and reducing class sizes. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard gave the School Board a rundown Monday of his plans for the money. Also at the meeting, the board approved a three-year contract extension for Kjergaard. He has just started the third year of his first contract with the district. The contract extension for Kjergaard will begin in fall 2011 and cover the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. Board member Mike Reynolds said the boar
WILLMAR -- A preliminary property tax for the Willmar School District projects an increase of about 1.3 percent for 2011. The Willmar School Board approved a preliminary levy of $6.9 million Monday for its portion of the overall tax bill for property owners in Kandiyohi County. The levy is the maximum the state allows and an $87,000 increase over this year's school property taxes. A public hearing on the levy will be held Dec. 13. The board will also adopt the final levy in December. Business and Finance Director Pam Harrington described the four-part levy for the board.
WILLMAR -- Willmar School Board members have joined the world of YouTube to talk about the district's upcoming operating levy referendum. Videos from four board members -- Sandi Unger, Brad Schmidt, Dion Warne and Mike Reynolds -- were posted this week. Videos from other board members will be posted later. In each one, a board member looks into the camera to explain why he or she supports the operating levy. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard suggested the videos last month.
WILLMAR -- A new bus parking and drop-off area north of Roosevelt Elementary School was a success on the first day of school. Not so successful was the expanded car drop-off area in front of the elementary school, according to Roosevelt Dean of Students Nathan Cox. The new bus lot with its own driveway behind the school was intended to help ease congestion at the car drop-off area in front of the school and improve safety for students getting off buses. "It was a very safe drop-off," Cox said Tuesday afternoon. "Mother Nature, with the wind, didn't help us much this morning," he added. Co
Bonnie Davis shocked herself when, after a couple decades of teaching, she looked at two male students who were late to her ad-vanced literature class and immediately made assumptions about them in her mind. That Asian boy had probably stayed late at his calculus class to talk to the teacher, she thought, but when she looked at the black boy, spo-rts came to mind. It made her think, "What am I capable of doing that I may not know I'm doing?" Davis, author of the book "How to teach Students Who Don't Look Like You," spoke to the Willmar School District staff last week.