School Board considers recruitment incentives


HURON — Huron School District Supt. Kraig Steinhoff outlined a new certified staff recruitment incentive that would pay up to $10,000 in student loans to encourage HHS students or graduates to enter the field of education and commit to working in Huron.

“Our district has encountered multiple years of open positions, and this incentive strives to recruit students or graduates to work, live and thrive in Huron,” Steinhoff told the School Board Monday night. “We would do this in exchange for five years of successful teaching in this district. My hope is that we can get people excited about working here.”

Steinhoff said Huron Regional Medical Center has developed a similar program and found it more successful to pay for student loans rather than a one-time lump sum for accepting a position and staying with the facility.

“If we have a student that wants to work for us and stay here, they have the capability of going to Huron Community Campus through Northern State University,” he said. “You only pay $40 per credit for evening classes and they could work during the day as a substitute or bus driver and be part of our system as they go.”

A plan introducing incentives to secure additional substitute teachers was also presented to the Board.

This plan would raise the pay for substitute teachers by $40 per day.

“Right now we can’t get the people and that is hard on our staff and puts a strain on learning,” said business manager Kelly Christopherson. “We propose we raise the pay again for substitute teachers to keep us in the market and get some more people.”

Both proposals will have a first reading at the next School Board meeting on Aug. 22.

Although the District had previously approved entering a partnership with the Lindsey Leads Unified School District, Steinhoff received a e-mail notifying him that the Lindsey district received 24 partnership requests and only four were accepted — not including Huron.

“That email was hard for me to swallow,” Steinhoff said. “I’m not used to having things to a different direction than what we had hoped for. We will seek alternative options for grant funding to help with our focus on growth in graduates and student-centered learning. At this time our relationship with Lindsey Leads has come to a close.”

In his report to the Board, Christopherson praised the District’s Building and Grounds Department for stepping in to get the tennis court complex ready for today’s triangular.

“The tennis courts were damaged by the storm in May and we’ve been working with insurance companies, architects and engineers to get that repaired, but it just wouldn’t come together,” Christopherson said. “This past week our Buildings and Grounds took on that project and got the fence reattached to the posts, so all the courts are available.

“Next summer we will do construction to get that back up to our standards,” Christopherson added.

The Board approved advertisement agreement renewals for Vision Care Associates at Tiger Stadium and Agtegra Cooperative at Huron Arena.

Steinhoff congratulated Sabrena and Robert Brooks on the birth of their daughter Eliza Mae on July 24, and the Huron Post 7 Junior Legion Baseball team for placing runner up at the State 16U Class A Tournament.

Moses Gross was congratulated for earning All American in the Cadet Division in the 16U National Wrestling Tournament held recently in Fargo.

School Board President Garret Bischoff was nominated and approved as Associated School Boards of South Dakota’s second vice president, and School Board members Bischoff, Shelly Siemonsma, Tim Van Berkum, Craig Lee and Kristi Glanzer were presented the ASBSD Award of Excellence.

Congratulations were extended to HHS senior Jake Holforty on his recent graduation from Army Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood.

Steinhoff thanked Farm Credit Services of America for donation of a 52-inch TV and portable video conference system, and Gretchen Kinney, Jennifer Fuchs and Volquardsen & Associates for items donated to the McKinley Learning Center.

The Board also:
• Approved surplus property for the Aug. 9 auction through Meyer Auctions. The auction will be online only at Bennymeyerauctions.com. Check their website for bidding hours.
• Approved 11 new hires, 14 contract revisions and four resignations.

Dates to remember:
• Aug. 15: Elementary open houses: 4 to 5 p.m. at Buchanan, 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. at Madison, and 6:45 to 8 p.m. at Washington.
• Aug. 16: Middle School open house, 5 to 6 p.m.
• Aug. 18: First day of school for grades 1-12.
• Aug. 24: First day of kindergarten.

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