The monthly Langdon Area School District (LASD) board meeting was a packed house as 20 teachers attended the meeting to show their support for Superintendent Mark Mindt in hopes he would reconsider his decision to turn in his resignation letter to the school board.
Posted on 5/16/16
By Melissa Anderson
LASD Instructional Coach Melissa Hiltner spoke on behalf of the teachers present stating that the numerous, successful changes were a result of Mindt’s leadership. Hiltner also stated that the atmosphere within the LASD schools had changed significantly under Mindt and that students from every grade were able to have a relationship with their superintendent now.
Following Hiltner’s speech, LASD Board President Warren Jonasson stated that no school board member had asked Mindt to resign and that a few have asked him to reconsider his decision. Members of the board stated that the show of support and statements made by the teaching staff were what the board needed to hear regarding this issue.
Despite the show of support, Mindt submitted his resignation letter. Jonasson proceeded to read the letter to the audience. Mindt cited numerous conversations with School Board President Warren Jonasson and recently learned that Jonasson’s personal issues with Mindt’s culture of leadership could not be resolved.
Mindt stated in the letter that he enjoyed working with school faculty, area businesses and community but will seek employment elsewhere that better suits his abilities. Mindt’s last day will be June 30, 2016.
School Board member Chris Olson moved to accept the resignation letter and honor Mindt’s wishes, Cregg Stein seconded. Board Member Dave Hart and Tiffany Hetletved both voiced their support for Mindt and apologized to him for not realizing he needed their support as board members on certain issues.
Hart cited that the school has undergone a remarkable change in energy and that Mindt did an excellent job over the past year.
“Any school would be happy to have you and it will be our loss,” Hart said.
Hart expressed that he hopes Mindt will reconsider in the few remaining weeks that are left before his final day.
Hetletved stated her feelings on the issue which were very similar to Hart’s in that she takes responsibility for not supporting Mindt when he needed it. Hetletved stated that she hopes Mindt will reconsider and that the show of support from so many of the faculty is proof that Mindt is successful.
Cindy Stremick and Chris Olson also voiced their support for Mindt and stated that they will honor his wishes to resign.
The board approved the resignation. The board will meet to begin the process of finding a new superintendent for Langdon Area School District prior to the June 30 end date Mindt requested.
In Other Business
The board members discussed the proposal for the student school board member. Hart stated that after seeing numerous news and media stories concerning this very issue he feels that a committee appointment would work better than the actual school board. Hart stated that he does not feel LASD is ready for a student school board member and that it would be best to wait until the board could get more input on the topic from more than one or two students.
Hetletved was in agreement. She stated that after the state school board convention and speaking to other school board members from across the state that while it has been successful the approach needs to be readdressed before being approved for implementation at LASD. Jonasson stated that the motion should be suspended until further interest is expressed by students. The motion was made to suspend the previous motion and was passed.
The board approved the additional cost of $1,300 for the mowing of the football field to the previously approved mowing contract. The football field was neglected in the previous contract thus making the addition necessary to insure its maintenance.
The board reviewed the coaching assignments for the fall sports. The contracts were approved for the coaches for junior high football, volleyball, and cross county and will be sent out to allow the coaches to have activities over the summer. The coaches were approved.
Mindt went over the preliminary budget with the board for the next school year. The school needs to stay within the 60 mills or else it will be penalized twice, once because they will not be getting enough funds and second by the state which will decrease funding.
Darby Hart resigned from her extra-curricular position of speech coach siting the need to be with her family more.
The board discussed the maintenance of the high school track. The company that has worked the track in the past reviewed the condition of the track and stated that the track would not need maintenance this year but would need it in 2017. The cost to have the work done will be about $51,000.
The company also suggested that the school have some landscaping work done along the edges of the track. Hart stated this should be done this summer as it is also a safety issue as there are areas along the edge of the track where the asphalt has crumbled away and created a significant drop off.
Langdon Area Elementary School Principal Todd Hetler informed the board that next school year the elementary school will be implementing a new reading program called Walk to Read. The program will split the second grade class based on reading level allowing the teachers to better help the students improve and challenge those with higher reading levels.
The June school board meeting was rescheduled to accommodate the June Primary and hold the demographic meeting. The board rescheduled the meeting for June 20.