Caitlyn Oien, Yankton native and graduate of the University of South Dakota, has been hired as Head MHS Debate Coach for the 2016-2017 school year. She will replace Natasha Hartman, who coached the team for the past two years following the retirement of Douglas Tschetter. Oien will teach seventh grade Social Studies courses currently taught by Paula Brakke.
The Milbank School District Board of Education also approved several other staffing changes during its regular meeting. Robin Simmons, who was previously hired as a middle school teacher, will assume most of the class assignments currently taught by Mrs. Huber. The board approved an amended contract for Kelli Hoff, who was previously hired as a special education teacher. She will join the high school track coaching staff and will assume the duties left by the resignation of Joe Frederiksen.
Jeremy Tostenson resigned his position as the boys middle school track coach following the completion of this school year. “Jeremy has served the district in this capacity for the past 17 years,” explained Superintendent Tim Graf. “We thank him for his service.” Tostenson’s track coaching position will be filled by Mr. Josh Schmiechel, a current middle school teacher and coach.
In other action items, out-of-state travel was approved for Rebekah Tuchscherer to attend the National Speech and Debate tournament June 12-17 in Salt Lake City, UT. Connor Lightfield, Macie Redmond and Brianna Schreurs also qualified to represent Milbank at the national tournament, competing on a team with two other students from the Northern South Dakota District in World Schools Debate. The students will be accompanied by Miss Hartman.
The board approved the ASBSD Worker’s Compensation Fund Participation Agreement for the next year, July 1 through June of 2017, with a quote of $33,281. “ASBSD is our current carrier,” noted Graf. “They have a limit of $2 million while the other two quotes we received have a $1 million limit. We have not had any issues with them and feel confident continuing with them in the future.”
The board voted for Jim Aisenbrey of Baltic High School to fill the position of Division IV representative for the South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors. Approval was also given by the board to vote “Yes” to a proposed amendment to the SDHSAA Constitution regarding the appeal process for the eligibility of students. “The amended change would take personal emotions out of the appeal process,” explained Graf. “Schools would file any appeal on behalf of a student, instead of the student and parents themselves filing an appeal.” Further information will be available once the voting is tallied.
The board approved the roofing bid from ProTech for $119,780 to finishing roofing nine sections on the high school/middle school building. “Once completed, we will have replaced all of the roof on this entire building,” said Graf.
The math sharing agreement between the Milbank School District and Wilmot School District was approved. “There were no changes made to this agreement from last year other than the new state rates for mileage will be used,” Graf stated. Graf also mentioned that because of a new law passed this legislative session, the Milbank district will get reimbursed for a percentage of the cost of this agreement, which he explained is not yet reflected in the general budget for next year.
In the final action item of the school board, members voted to make a slight amendment to the transportation contract with DeFea Transportation. “We are in the second year of a five-year contract with DeFea,” noted Graf. “We would like to amend the contract to reflect current conditions and potential changes that could arise from additional routes being added in the future. The current contract calls for a 3% increase the first two years and then an increase based upon CIP for the remaining years of the contract. This was structured this way to protect against expected future inflationary increases