Natalie Knutson, Chair

Committees: Finance Committee; Buildings & Grounds; Policy Committee; Wellness Committee

Negotiations: Special Education Paraprofessionals; District-wide Individual Contracts

Term ends: 2024

Email: nknutson@fergusotters.org

Melanie Cole, Vice Chair

Committees: Spec Ed. Coop & Region I Board; Meet & Confer

Negotiations: Certified staff; Special Education Paraprofessionals

Term ends: 2026

Email: mcole@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-205-4854

Kirby Anderson, Treasurer

Committees: Finance Committee; 544 Education Foundation; Activities Committee

Negotiations: Principals

Term ends: 2026

Email: kirbyanderson@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-770-7161

Melissa Hermes, Clerk

Committees: Curriculum Review; Policy Committee

Negotiations: Certified staff; Food Service

Term ends: 2026

Email: mhermes@fergusotters.org

Matthew Lemke

Committees: MN State HS League & Co-Curricular; Activities Committee; Finance Committee; Buildings & Grounds

Negotiations: Certified staff; Principals; Secretaries & Custodians

Term ends: 2024

Email: mlemke@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-731-1385

Stephen Vigesaa

Committees: Activities Committee; Policy Committee; Buildings & Grounds; Staff Development

Negotiations: Principals; Secretaries & Custodians; Title 1 Paras & Para Educators

Term ends: 2024

Email: svigesaa@fergusotters.org

Phone: 507-993-5941

The regular meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 544 was held in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. Chair Natalie Knutson called the meeting to order at 7:15 am. The following members were present: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy (Melissa) Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa. Jeff Drake, Superintendent, Renae Macheledt, Finance Director, and Elaine Jahnke, HR Director, were also present. 

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all present. 

Missy Hermes, clerk, established a quorum. 

Matthew Lemke made a motion to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously. 

Stephen Vigesaa offered the resolution of acknowledgements for the following and moved for its adoption:

Thank you to Charles & Linda MacFarlane, TK Property Management, & Timothy & Penny Rogelstad for their donations to the ALC Student Advisory. 

The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and upon roll call vote being taken, the following voted in favor thereof: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa; 

and the following voted against same: 

None. 

Whereupon said motion was declared duly passed and the resolution adopted.  

Reports were presented by: 

  • Derek Abrahams, Activities Director - spring sports/fine arts
  • FY25 Financial Budget – Renae Macheledt
  • Kirby Anderson – 544 Education Foundation, Finance, Activities
  • Melanie Cole – Spec Ed Coop, Region I, Meet & Confer
  • Missy Hermes – Curriculum Review, Policy
  • Natalie Knutson - Wellness, Buildings & Grounds, Policy
  • Matthew Lemke – MSHSL
  • Stephen Vigesaa – Staff Development
  • Jeff Drake  – Superintendent

General Consent Items

The following consent agenda was presented for approval: 

  1. Minutes from the May 28, 2024 regular School Board meeting 
  2. Bills and Treasurer’s Report - reviewed by Melaine Cole and Kirby Anderson:

General Fund

$2,033,239.58

Food Service

$140,256.89

Community Service

$29,695.39

Building Fund

$1,354,419.35

Debt Service

$97,142.50

Trust & Agency

$85,926.49

Activities

$17,835.22

TOTAL

$3,758,515.42

 

  1. Personnel

            Certified Staff Hire:

  • Jesse Schneeberger - PE/DAPE teacher @ Lincoln/McKinley; effective 2024-25 school year

Certified Staff Resignation:

  • Hannah Fietek - music teacher @ Cleveland; effective 6/8/2024

Support Staff Resignation: 

  • Amy Christensen, ALC secretary; Last day of work - 8/2/2024

Individual Contracts between ISD 544 and the following:

Effective July 1, 2024-June 30, 2026:

  • Accountant: (Johnson)
  • Finance Officer (Clausen)
  • Food Service Director (Wells)
  • Technology Specialist (Thorstad)
  • Technology Manager (Donoho)
  • Technology Support (Maack)
  • Facilities Supervisor (Anderson)
  • Mechanical Supervisor (Shea)
  • Community Ed Director (Matteson)

Stephen Vigesaa moved to approve the consent agenda. The motion was seconded by Missy Hermes and carried unanimously. 

Old Business: 

  1. Missy Hermes moved to rescind the School Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Services Agreement between Fergus Falls Public Schools/ISD 544 and Lake Region Healthcare Corporation; effective 8/1/2024-6/30/2025 (one year contract). The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously.

New Business: 

  1. Kirby Anderson moved to approve the School Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Services Agreement between Fergus Falls Public Schools/ISD 544 and Lake Region Healthcare Corporation; effective 8/1/2024-6/30/2027 (three year contract). The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously
  2. Missy Hermes moved to approve the FY25 membership with Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) and Policy Services. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously.
  3. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the workers’ compensation policy through First Dakota Indemnity Company for a total estimated cost of $93,689 for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously.
  4. Melanie Cole moved to approve the commercial insurance policy package through EMC Insurance for a total estimated cost of $236,000 for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously.
  5. Melanie Cole moved to approve the ISD 544 FY25 Financial Budget. The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously. 
  6. Kirby Anderson moved to approve the Engineering Services Agreement with Interstate Engineering for Roosevelt and Armory Parking Lot Resurfacing Project. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously.
  7. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the service agreement between Fergus Falls Public Schools - ISD #544 and Otter Tail County for the Transportation of Children & Youth in Foster Placement; effective 07/01/2024 - 06/30/2025. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously.
  8. Stephen Vigesaa moved to approve the annual partnership payment for Otter Tail Family Services Collaborative FY24. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously.
  9. Kirby Anderson moved to approve the FY25 Membership with Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA). The motion was seconded by Missy Hermes and carried unanimously.
  10. Matthew Lemke offered the following resolution and moved for its adoption:

2024-2025 RESOLUTION FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE MINNESOTA STATE HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE

  RESOLVED, that the Governing Board of Fergus Falls Public School District Number 544, located in the State of Minnesota delegates the control, supervision and regulation of interscholastic activities and athletics (referred to in MN Statutes, Section 128C.01) to the Minnesota State High School League, and so hereby certifies to the State Commissioner of Education as provided for by Minnesota Statutes.

  FURTHER RESOLVED, that the school listed is authorized by this, the Governing Board of said school district or school to renew its membership in the Minnesota State High School League; and. Participate in the approved interscholastic activities and athletics sponsored by said League and its various subdivisions.

  FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Governing Board or Entity hereby adopts the Constitution, Bylaws, Policies, Rules and Regulations of said League and all amendments thereto as the same as are published in the latest edition of the League’s Official Handbook, on file at the office of the school district or school, or as appears on the League’s website, as the minimum standards governing participation in said League-sponsored activities and athletics. Further, the administration and responsibility for determining student eligibility and for the supervision of such activities and athletics are assigned to the official representatives identified by this Governing Board or Entity.

The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and upon roll call vote being taken, the following voted in favor thereof: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa;

and the following voted against same: 

None. 

Whereupon said motion was declared duly passed and the resolution adopted.  

The next regular School Board meeting will be held at 7:15 am Monday, June 24, 2024 in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. 

Stephen Vigesaa made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:02 am. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously. 

A work session followed the regular board meeting.