Roe takes oath, officers elected: Red Wing School Board briefs

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Newly elected Red Wing School Board member Pam Roe was officially installed at Tuesday night's meeting, Jan. 3.

"I will discharge faithfully the duties of the office of school board member of ISD No. 256 to the best of my judgment and ability," Roe said in the oath conducted by Board Chair Janie Farrar.

Roe replaced Mark Ryan following the first contested board election since 2010.

Per state law, the board also took nominations and elected four officers for 2017. No changes in positions were made. Farrar was named board chair, Arlen Diercks vice chair, Steve Anderson treasurer and Bethany Borgschatz clerk.

Minnesota School Boards Association annual leadership conference

Board members and student school board representatives Wyatt Hofius and Hannah Flemke will attend the 2017 MSBA Leadership Conference Jan. 12-13 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The two-day conference will feature speakers Alan Blankstein and Alan Page, workshops, a show-and-tell event and a trade show.

Board member Heidi Jones will be on the ballot for re-election as MSBA Director of District 1. The Red Wing High School Jazz Lab I band will be performing at the conference.

Salary increase approved

As school boards are required to set board members' compensation year, Superintendent Karsten Anderson suggested an increase of $200 per year for the next several years to be comparable with other school districts. In 2016, the salaries were $2,700 for board chair, $2,500 for board clerk and $2,000 for board members.

"Just to put it in comparison, City Council members receive $7,550.40 per year," Anderson said.

Board member Arlen Diercks said he believes the board is grossly underpaid.

"It has cost me money to serve on the board because of time taken off from work and losing compensation," Diercks said. "Whether you hire a sitter to watch kids for you to attend a board function or anything like that, there are costs associated with serving the public. We should not make the salary so high that people are here for the money, but it should not be so low that people can't afford to serve on the board."

The superintendent provided data showing the last board salary increase occurred three years ago.

"Looking at our conference partners, everybody else is getting significantly more than we are," Board member Heidi Jones said. "I am in support of easing into these incremental changes, keeping it modest while trying to get us closer to other districts."

Board member Steve Anderson said he was in support of increasing the salary within the district's means. "We have a district that is tight on money. We want to be sensitive to that, but it is important to try and attract good people to serve," Anderson said.

The board voted on a $200 increase to each position, passing the motion 6-1. Diercks cast the opposed vote, citing he thinks the increase should be higher.

Personnel moves made

New hire: Alissa Peanasy, long-term substitute social worker at Red Wing High School, effective Jan. 3, 2017 (due to a leave).

In other news...

• An overnight field trip was approved for the RWHS Jazz Band Feb. 3-4, 2017 to Bemidji, Minn., to participate in the Bemidji Jazz Festival.

• The girls' tennis team earned the gold standard for Class AA team award for academic excellence. Team members had a cumulative GPA of over 3.75.

Meeting watch

Tuesday's meeting lasted approximately one hour and 14 minutes. All board members were present. The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Red Wing High School media center.

— compiled by Samantha Bengs, staff writer