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 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.
Drop a can of Coke into a cylinder of water, and you can watch it sink gently to the bottom. Drop a can of Diet Coke in, and it will float at the top. It won’t even sink if it’s pushed down. The difference? The 38 grams of sugar in the regular Coke make it denser, and it sinks. Density was one of the first chemistry lessons Willmar Middle School seventh-grade students learned Thursday morning from Dr. John Benson, a chemistry instructor at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Benson spent nearly an hour talking about chemistry and demonstrating chemical reactions in the school’s gym.
WILLMAR — Willmar School Board member Dan Croonquist of Kandiyohi resigned the board Tuesday after the board held a private meeting for nearly two hours. The meeting was closed to the public improperly and violated the Minnesota Open Meeting Law, according to an attorney with the Minnesota Newspaper Association. Croonquist’s resignation, which was effective immediately, came after the conclusion of the regular board meeting and after the board’s private meeting that began at about 5:30 p.m.
WILLMAR — A national student assessment has indicated that Minnesota is narrowing its achievement gap in some cases and has posted some of its best scores ever. Gov.
WILLMAR — Members of a facilities task force continued their efforts Monday to envision Willmar’s public schools in 2023. The group has been meeting since September to develop a 10-year facilities plan for the district. At each meeting, the members go through a brainstorming exercise to try to hone their vision for the district’s future needs and how to address them. Members of the group include district administrators, board members and people from the community. Architect David Leapaldt of St. Cloud is leading the group in its discussions.
School funding questions in the Benson and in the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg school districts were approved by voters in Tuesday’s election. In Benson, voters agreed to repeal an existing operating levy and replace it with a larger one for the next four years.
Voters in the Benson and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg school districts will go the polls on Tuesday to vote on school referendums. The voters in Benson will decide whether to provide more funding for school operations, and voters in the KMS district will decide whether to pay for school improvements. KMS will have two questions on its ballot. The first question will ask voters if they want to approve issuing $9.5 million in bonds to pay for improvements at the district’s two school buildings, a high school in Kerkhoven and an elementary school in Murdock.
Their banner says it for the students at Willmar Area Learning Center, “Bullying … Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!” Students in the alternative high school’s Service Learning class came up with the slogan and made the banner with white letters on a black background. Watch: Willmar Area Learning Center students tie-dye anti-bullying shirts October was National Bullying Prevention Month, and orange w
Sometimes, you just have to be willing to jump off the end of the dock. It’s not always comfortable for women to move into leadership roles, according to MaryAnn Doyle, president of Bremer Bank in Willmar, but it’s important for them to “put ourselves out there.” Doyle started out working in the basement of a Bremer Bank in Minot, N.D., and “I never dreamed I would end up where I am today.” Neither did Annette Benson and Jennifer Lownsbury, partners in the Conway Deuth & Schmiesing accounting firm in Willmar. All three are natives of the area