August 23, 2016 Community news from the prairie to the lakes  
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  ‘New’ WCA A.D. gets ‘off to a good start’  

West Central Area’s interim Activities Director Harold Nelson told the school board that he has learned former AD and Dean of Students Pat Anderson did much more than anyone knew. Anderson was killed in an ATV accident at the end of July, and last Monday, the WCA school board passed a motion to hire Nelson as the interim Activities Director/Dean of Students.

“I have been getting lots of help from area athletic directors and coaches,” Nelson explained. Nelson is WCA’s recently retired Community Education Director.

Nelson went on to say he held the Fall Sports Meeting last Thursday for fall coaches, athletes, and their parents and everything went well.

“We are getting off to a good start,” Nelson said, adding that fall sports practices started that very day. He said so far there were four girls varsity tennis players that are on the combined Morris Area/WCA girls tennis team, 40-45 boys on the combined WCA-Ashby varsity football team, 30-35 on the West Central Area boys and girls cross country teams, and about 35 girls in 7-12 on the volleyball team.

“These numbers may go up a bit as some families are on vacation,” Nelson said.

Superintendent Dr. Charles Cheney informed the board that since numbers on the cross country teams are up this year, they may have to hire an additional coach.

“We should know in a week or two,” Cheney added.

West Central Area’s new Community Education Director Jon Moore reported that summer classes are wrapping up, swimming lessons completed, and the last AARP Defensive Driving class is over.

“AARP is adding an on-line class and I will be looking into that,” said Moore.

Moore also said the school will be adding Monday night youth football and volleyball this fall. This fall Community Education will continue with its popular Lego Club, and hopes to add a coding class as well as more online registration for Community Education offerings.

Technology Coordinator Kevin McNamara told the board the new interior security cameras are installed and working in the Secondary School and he will be working on the exterior camera this coming week.

“Every hallway in the school can be monitored now,” McNamara said, adding he is also adding electronic card access to all the school buildings. Currently, only the Secondary School has electronic card access.

McNamara said parents will want to learn all about the new system that has replaced the TIES system at upcoming open houses.

Building and Grounds Manager Wade Nibbe reported that the new roof is done at South and the Secondary School. The old carpet has been removed from the Secondary School hallways and the parking lot should be paved and stripped by the end of the week. The gym floor at North was sanded and refinished last week.

“The football field has come an amazingly long way in the last two weeks, since we put fertilizer on it,” reported Nibbe. “It will not be where we want it to be, but will be ready for the first football game on September 2.”

Nibbe said the football field will need more work this fall after the season is completed, and next spring and summer to make it better.

Natalie Prasch was introduced to the board as the newly hired Elementary Principal. She reported that she has visited both elementary schools and was very impressed with the office staff she met.

“I am thrilled to be here,” Prasch said. “In the first 90 to 100 days I plan to be building relationships.” She said she has a very positive outlook and wants to become part of the community.

Superintendent Cheney told the board the Corporate Sponsor Committee has met and is planning to install a working sprinkler system on the Secondary Schools softball fields.

“They haven’t worked in 12 years and it looks like about $10,000 would get them working again.”

He also said there is a movement to do something as a memorial to Pat Anderson and it looks like an electronic scoreboard for the Secondary School’s baseball field may be a possibility but “It’s too early to decide yet.”

Cheney reported that projections are, the district will be needing to hire about three special education para-professionals for the elementary schools once classes get underway.

Other business
The board approved the 2016-17 adult meal price at $3.60, as dictated by the Minnesota Department of Education.

The board approved the hiring of Kari Bentrup, third grade at WCA South; Ben Johnson, agriculture for the Secondary School; and Jessie Simon, second grade at WCA North, pending contract release from the Ashby School District.

The board also approved a lane change from MA6 to MA6+10 for David Drexler, and authorized the administration to seek snow removal bids for the next two school years.

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August 23, 2016