Wahpeton Public Schools prepares for June election

Three Wahpeton School Board members have until 4 p.m. Monday, March 29 to file for re-election. Directors Mike Hauschild, Jake Kubela and Susan Rittenour are eligible to run for another three-year term.

Three Wahpeton School Board members have until 4 p.m. Monday, March 29 to file for re-election. Directors Mike Hauschild, Jake Kubela and Susan Rittenour are eligible to run for another three-year term.

Directors of the nine-member board serve terms which expire every three years. Hauschild is based out of the community north of North Dakota Highway 13, while Kubela and Rittenour are based in Wahpeton itself.

“I hope you’ll all consider re-upping,” School Board President Damon DeVillers said to his colleagues Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Participation in school board elections has increased in recent years.

More than 600 ballots were cast in the 2020 election, where DeVillers and directors Art Nelson and Scott Thiel ran in uncontested races. Exactly 250 ballots were cast in 2019, when directors Brad Bakken and Ginny Buck were re-elected and candidate Kathy Dimmer was elected. Nearly 380 ballots were cast in 2018, when Hauschild, Kubela and Rittenour were re-elected.

Wednesday’s board meeting came amid declining new and active COVID-19 cases in Richland County, North Dakota. Active cases among North Dakota youth also remain lower than active cases among the 20-39 and 30-39 age groups, according to data from the state health department.

As of Friday, Feb. 12, NDDoH confirmed statewide:

• 35 active, four new, COVID-19 cases among ages 0-5

• 37 active, six new, cases among ages 6-11

• 32 active, five new, cases among ages 12-14

• 81 active, 14 new, cases, among ages 15-19

NDDoH also provides the K-12 School Dashboard, which tracks positive cases for students and staff through the 2020-2021 school year beginning Aug. 19, 2020.

As of Thursday, Feb. 11, NDDoH confirmed:

• 82 active and 8,821 cumulative cases among 120,630 enrolled students

• three active and 2,989 cumulative cases among 22,142 school staff members including personnel and teachers

In other news, Wahpeton’s board unanimously accepted the resignations of McKenzie Davis as elementary resource room teacher; Megan Edelman as third grade teacher; Rachel Wagner as second grade teacher; and Cheryl Unterseher as satellite cook. They also unanimously accepted the resignations and retirement of Connie Pederson as sixth grade teacher; Michelle Ringdahl as high school English teacher; and Jeanne Schreiner as high school paraprofessional.

Additional unanimous votes approved a transfer request from Kayla Cook; the reassignment of Abigail Engelstad to the fourth grade; the reassignment of Ashley Fliflet to the third grade; and the hiring of Breanna Bregel and Michelle Mostoller as middle school academic coaches, as well as Amanda Toussaint as paraprofessional at Wahpeton Elementary School.

Dan Rood, Jr., director of the Southeast Region Career and Technology Center, also spoke Wednesday. He shared the annual presentation of SRCTC’s activity, including classes in plant science and animal care at the Wahpeton Agriculture Innovation Center and student-built housing intended to continue developing the city’s northwest Westdale II neighborhood.

“We need housing in Wahpeton,” Rood said. “We need affordable housing for young families. That obviously affects enrollment in schools. We’re excited about at least helping in that respect.”

The school board’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 10. It will be held via Zoom.

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