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GHEC?hires new superintendent

May 11, 2012
Jodelle Greiner - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

GRANADA - The Granada-Huntley-East Chain School Board has approved a contract with Dr. Steven Heyd to be superintendent/ principal for three years.

Paul Sundholm, interim superintendent/principal, said he would mail the contract to Heyd today to sign.

Heyd is currently vice president of academics and curriculum at Sisseton Wahpeton College in Sisseton, S.D. He was in the middle of commencement for the college and unable to come to Thursday's board meeting, Sundholm said.

The contract will run through June 30, 2015, paying $85,000 for the first year, with the remaining years to be negotiated.

The contract includes 20 days of vacation, 10 paid holidays and health insurance.

Sundholm came out of retirement to take the interim position and plans to re-retire at the end of the school year.

In another matter, the board approved the retirement of Tony Stadler, industrial technology teacher.

Sundholm has been looking for another industrial arts teacher since last summer, and has advertised for the position, but has not had any applicants.

He also has been corresponding with Truman High School about having GHEC students take four industrial arts classes at Truman.

Sundholm would like to survey next year's juniors and seniors to see if there is enough interest in taking electric, small engines, woodworking and welding.

"If we can get four or more students interested, it would be a go," he said.

GHEC students would be transported to Truman just before sixth period, take the two classes, and leave in time to get back by the end of the school day.

"It's a very good option for us and hopefully it will work out for us," Sundholm said.

In another matter related to sharing programs, Sundholm said he met with officials from Truman, Madelia and Martin Luther about declining participation in sports. GHEC is already sharing sports with Truman and Martin Luther.

"I'm letting you guys know enrollment in activities is going down and to continue to have activities, there will have to be pairing and sharing," he told the board.

He said there were four options:

o Build from within, which is unlikely given declining student population;

o Go with a co-op;

o Share with more than one district;

o Drop the sport.

"If you drop the sport, you'll lose enrollment in your district," Sundholm warned.

"Football with Truman has been going extremely well," he said. "Baseball is being extremely good. They're winning ball games."

"Any ideas why enrollment has gone down?" asked Troy Jensen, board member.

"Lack of interest or (school) enrollment?" asked Ken Petrowiak, board member.

"Both," Sundholm said.

"A lot [of students] are getting jobs," Jensen added.

Parent Mary Shumski expressed concern about dropping industrial tech classes from GHEC's curriculum.

"You say if you drop sports, you lose kids. I feel if we drop those classes, we'll lose kids," she said.

"We haven't pulled the ads," Sundholm said. "We're still getting applications for other positions [that also were posted]. The plan is still to look for a [industrial tech] teacher."

"We've sent kids to Blue Earth and Fairmont [for other classes] and had good results with that," said Jensen, adding that it is important the kids get a chance to try welding, to see if they like it, since manufacturing plants in the area are so short-handed in the trades.

Board chairman Robert Garry said sharing between or among smaller schools gives students more of a chance to participate, compared to trying to make a team at a larger school.

"It's all very preliminary; nothing is definite," Sundholm said. "We have a need and want what's best for the students."

 
 

 

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