by Mike Knaak
Sartell-St. Stephen school board members elected Patrick Marushin at its Jan. 3 meeting to chair the body for next year.
Marushin, first elected to the board in 2014, replaces Jeremy Snoberger as chair. Other officers elected at the board’s yearly organizational meeting were Matt Moehrle as vice chair, Snoberger as clerk and Tricia Meling as treasurer.
The board voted to keep their salaries at the current levels. The board chair and treasurer earn $3,400 a year and the other board members earn $3,000 a year. Stipend for special and other designated meetings will be $50 for meetings that last one to two hours, $100 for meetings lasting two to four hours and $400 for meetings lasting longer than six hours.
Monthly board meetings will continue to be the third Monday of the month except when that day is a holiday. Meetings start at 6:30 p.m. except during June, July and August when the board meets at 5 p.m.
The board meets at the District Service Center, 212 Third Ave. N. The May and December meetings are scheduled for Sartell High School.
In past years, the board met at least once at the St. Stephen City Hall. Those meetings where moved when facilities shut down for Covid-19. Board member Jason Nies asked about the possibility of conducting a meeting in St. Stephen during 2022.
In the coming year, Marushin said he’d like to see more staff presentations at board meetings showcasing what’s going on in the schools.
Following the board meeting, the board convened a working session to discuss calendar options for the next two school years.
Superintendent Jeff Ridlehoover presented a draft calendar that includes one less student contact day to give teachers time for preparation and development. If the board approves the draft, students will be in class for 170 instead of 171 days. The state requires a minimum of 165 class days. Sauk Rapids-Rice students meet for 170 days and St. Cloud schools are in session for 169 days, Ridlehoover said.
When actual class hours are counted, Sartell-St. Stephen high school students, for example, meet more than 130 hours above the state requirement.
Ridlehoover said the committee that compiled the draft calendars made no changes to spring break.
During work sessions, board members can discuss issues but can’t vote. The board is expected to vote on the proposed calendars at its next meeting, 6.30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 24, at the District Service Center.