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Hancock School board places Adam Steege on unrequested leave of absence

After what seemed like a brief closed session on Monday night, the Hancock School board made some big decisions. The closed session, according to the agenda, was to discuss negotiation strategy. In regular session, the board members approved a Master Agreement which had been previously approved by teachers. They also approved wages for classified staff and  placed one teacher, Adam Steege, on unrequested leave of absence.

In the open meeting it was explained that a transition committee, set up to define the transition after the retirement of Supt. Jerry Martinson and hiring of Prinipcal Tim Pahl, had recommended possible cuts and administration changes. This recommendation was to cut the .25 assistant principal position, retain Pahl as full-time principal and hire a part-time superintendant. The administration made the recommendation to also eliminate the Ag 1 and 8th grade Industrial Arts courses.

The board members then, by unanimous vote, approved the placement of Adam Steege on unrequested leave of absence. The board also approved the new Master Agreement with board member Joel Flaten abstaining.

Some wording changes were made in the Master Agreement with increased wages for things such as higher professional and  degree levels. The agreement will give teachers a 1.5 percent salary increase in the 2013-2014 school year and a 2.5 percent increase in the 2014-2015 school year. Some salary changes were also made in the extra-curricular schedule.

In other action, Supt. Martinson presented board members with certificates in recognition of School Board Recognition Week which was Feb. 17-21.

Principal Pahl presented a construction update stating that the punch list had gone from 38 pages to 2.5 pages. This is a sign that things are being completed. A few exterior items remain on the list that will need to be done in the spring. The electrical contractors have completed their punch list items. The remaining items will continue to be addressed.

Pahl congratulated Nathan Koehl who was selected to serve on the 2014 Minnesota FFA Nominating Committee. He also recognized the Business Professional Association students and Speech students who have recently participated in competitions. Nineteen BPA student qualified to attend the State BPA Conference in Minneapolis.

The board approved a request from the family of Kurt Kruize to transfer the funds in a school scholarship fund to a bank account set up at the Community Development Bank in Hancock. The family is planning on starting a nonprofit organization and requested the scholarship fund money to be transfered.

The next regular board meeting will be held on Monday, March 17 at 6 p.m.