New School Board members sworn in

By Crystal Pugsley of the Plainsman
Posted 7/9/24

Notes from July 8 Huron School Board meeting

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New School Board members sworn in


HURON — New School Board members Ray Cordona and Tim Van Berkum were sworn in during Monday night’s meeting. Van Berkum was elected Board chairman and Shelley Siemonsma as vice chair.

Doug Pietz, director of Huron Community Campus, and Dr. Erin Fouberg from Northern State University in Aberdeen talked to the Board about new higher education opportunities that will be offered on the Huron Campus.

Fouberg said NSU has had a presence in Huron since the closing of Huron University.

“The Huron University Foundation has invested millions to provide higher education, and NSU is proud to be a partner,” she said. “It’s a delight to work with Doug and Dr. Steinhoff for how best to provide higher education in the Huron area.”

The partnership with NSU began in 2010, offering master’s degrees in teaching and learning, and they have been offering undergraduate courses since 2012.

“Our goal as the face of higher education in Huron is to help as many students as possible be on the pathway to higher education,” Fouberg said. “Our ultimate goal is to get students in Huron to see themselves as college going people.”

NSU has created a two-year rotation of courses that students can take to earn an associate’s degree. “All your classes are face-to-face in Huron at $40 a credit,” she said.

Degrees are available in business administration, early childhood education, criminal justice and digital entrepreneurship.

This fall, students at Huron High School can use the last hour of the school day to take up to four college courses.

“We want to help schools like Huron, Aberdeen Central, everybody facing a teacher shortage, to grow your own teachers from current high school students,” Fouberg said. “They can earn gateway to teaching certificate, that’s 12 credits. All of those credits will stack into a bachelor’s degree.”

Business Manager Kelly Christopherson reported that he hopes bids can be let this fall on the building project their architect team is working on. The district will relocate buried fiber optic and electric cables so they’re out of the way when construction begins.

Dr. Kraig Steinhoff said they had 10 paraprofessionals apply for the South Dakota Teacher Apprenticeship Pathway program, and the state Department of Education selected five of the applicants. The program supports growth and development planning through recruitment and retention of staff.

The full administrative team and school resource officers are completing the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment guidelines hosted by Navigate 360. The training is provided through the school’s partnership with the South Dakota Safety Program and the Department of Public Safety.

Steinhoff said he plans to continue training through the South Dakota School Safety Program to ensure school facilities are safe and clean and addressing mental/behavioral health needs.

The first day of school for grades one through 12 will be Tuesday, Aug. 20, with kindergarten and early childhood classes to begin Monday, Aug. 26. Early release will be Wednesday, Aug. 28, and classes will be dismissed Aug. 29-30 for the S.D. State Fair.

A freshman orientation and open house is planned Aug. 14, with elementary open houses Aug. 15, beginning at 4 p.m. at Buchanan, 5 p.m. at Madison, and 5 p.m. at Washington. A middle school open house is scheduled Monday, Aug. 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Homecoming will be held Sept. 20.

Board members designed Kelly Christopherson as the business manager, and the Huron Plainsman was designated as the official newspaper.

Truant officers will be the school resource officer (SRO) and the Beadle County Sheriff.

The Board gave first reading to the School Board Governance & Operations Policy Review.

Vision Care Associates renewed its advertising agreement at Tiger Stadium.

The salary set for Board members is $100 per meeting, and the Board chairman and vice chair will be paid $125 each meeting.