Milbank High School alumnus Jeff Trapp returns to his hometown to become the middle school science teacher. The move was approved by the Milbank... Jeff Trapp Hired as New Middle School Science Teacher to Replace Bastian

Milbank High School alumnus Jeff Trapp returns to his hometown to become the middle school science teacher. The move was approved by the Milbank School District Board of Education Monday, June 12, at its regular meeting.

Trapp will replace Melissa Bastian this fall in the middle school halls. Bastian has accepted a position as a 5th grade teacher with the Watertown School District. Her husband, Matt, previously accepted a position as the principal for the Florence School District. The couple and their three children will move to Watertown this summer. “Matt and I have enjoyed our time in Milbank and will miss the community immensely,” she expressed.

Trapp is a 2009 MHS graduate and obtained his bachelor’s degree at Dakota State University in Madison.“I’ve always had a strong desire to return to Milbank,” Trapp said. Trapp has been employed the past three years as the Customized Learning Science Facilitator for the Watertown School District. He helped start and increase customized learning at the high school and taught biology, chemistry, and physical science.

Superintendent Tim Graf informed the board of the newly established Blue Sky Colony near Revillo in Grant County and the Milbank School District. The colony requested a teacher for seven students ranging from age five to 17 for the 2017-2018 school year.

The board approved advertising the position to determine if a teacher is available. Graf said the district is not legally obligated to provide a teacher, but most school districts in South Dakota do.

If the district decides to provide a teacher, the students will be included in the district’s student count and will receive state funds. Colony leaders said they would supplement the funds for each student if necessary.

“We just met with them today (Monday) so there are a lot of details that still need to be discussed and explored,” stated Graf. If the board agrees to provide a teacher for the colony, it would first need to approve the creation of the position, followed by the approval of the instructor.

The board also approved offering Algebra I as a summer class with Caitlyn Graf as the instructor. “We see students struggle with Algebra I each year,” stated Superintendent Graf. “Colleges have changed their math requirements. Therefore, higher levels of math are needed at the high school level which has led to many challenges.”

Two sessions are being offered. The first began Tuesday, June 13, and the second will start Monday, July 10. Each class meets 10 days from 9 to 11 a.m. The cost is $100 per session with $25 refunded per session if the student successfully completes the class.

The board also approved a supplemental contract for Troy Gauer for the middle school football coaching position. They approved the wages for the summer OST and custodial staff. They approved the Flex Benefits plan with Horace Mann. They gave approval for eleven open enrollment applications for next year, and also approved the transportation contract with DeFea Transportation.


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