by Dennis Dalman
The Sartell-St. Stephen School Board now has an applications policy that will be used to fill two vacancies on the board by July.
Earlier, in March, many residents in the district raised concerns about the board’s policy for filling vacancies, with many outspoken people advocating an application process rather than an appointment process without allowing for applications.
At its May 21 meeting, the board agreed to an application process its members had previously discussed May 14. Anyone living in the school district, 21 years or older, may file for a seat on the school board if he or she has lived in the school district for at least 30 days previous to the date of application.
The vacancies opened when board member Julie Zupfer Anderson resigned in March due to what she said were irreconcilable differences among board members. Another board member, Patrick Jacobson-Schulte announced his resignation earlier this month and officially resigned at the May 21 meeting. Jacobson-Schulte had no choice but to resign because he is moving to a new home outside of the Sartell-St. Stephen School District. People on the board must reside within the school district.
The current members of the board are Greg Asfeld, Lesa Kramer, Mary McCabe and Dan Riordan.
Applications for the two open seats are available at the superintendent’s office in the District Office Building, 212 3rd Ave. N. in Sartell. Applications can also be downloaded online at www.sartell.k12.mn.us. They are available now through May 31. The deadline for accepting applications, along with a cover letter, is 4 p.m. Thursday, May 31 at the superintendent’s office.
By June 7, all of the applicants will be reviewed by the school board, and finalists will be contacted June 8. The finalists will be interviewed June 20-21. At a board meeting June 25, the board will consider voting for those they want to fill the two vacancies.
Applicants should be aware the two vacancies vary in length of service:
Vacancy 1 is for someone who can serve until a new member is elected in the Nov. 6 general election. The appointee will serve until late November to early December 2012. Then the person elected would take over the seat and serve the remainder of the four-year term until January 2015.
Vacancy 2 is for someone to fill the remainder of a term that would end in the first meeting of January 2013.
The Sartell-St. Stephen School Board meets once a month, but there are also work sessions, special meetings, committee meetings and periodic training seminars. The time commitment is about 20-40 hours per month.
Among the duties of a school board member is budget adoption, contract and evaluations of the superintendent, long-range planning and ratifying bargaining agreements. The board is also responsible for overseeing and implementing school policies that include program development and monitoring, student assessment, student support services, employee relations, instructional materials, facility uses, extracurricular activities and board operations.