The regular meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 544 was held in the Otter
Community Room at Kennedy Secondary School. Chair Melanie Cole called the meeting to order at 5:15
pm. The following members were present: Melanie Cole, Blaine Danielson, Natalie Knutson, Matthew
Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa. Missy Hermes was absent. Jerry Ness, superintendent, Mark Masten,
business manager and Elaine Jahnke, personnel manager were also present.
Blaine Danielson, clerk, established a quorum.
Blaine Danielson made a motion to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by
Matthew Lemke and carried unanimously.
Chair Melanie Cole thanked Allen and Barbara Dogger for their monetary donation to the music
department in memory of Lee Leverson; and to Heather Heikes for her donation of a trombone to the
Music Department at Kennedy Secondary School.
Reports were presented by the following:
• France/Spain ’18 Trip Summary – Deb Sutor & Students
• Matthew Lemke – LCSC Board, MSHSL
• Natalie Knutson – Wellness, Policy
• Melanie Cole – Spec Ed Coop, Region I, Finance, Activities
• Melissa Hermes – Staff Development, Curriculum Review
• Blaine Danielson – 544 Education Foundation, Buildings & Grounds, Meet & Confer
• Stephen Vigesaa – Legislative Liaison
• Jerry Ness – Superintendent (Enrollment update)
General Consent Items:
The following consent agenda was presented for approval:
1. Minutes from August 27, 2018 School Board meeting.
2. Bills and Treasurer’s Report – reviewed by Blaine Danielson and Natalie Knutson prior to the start
of the School Board meeting:
Student Activity funds were reviewed by the School Board.
General Fund $ 2,332,603.23
Food Service $ 55,282.86
Community Service $ 11,217.22
Building Fund $ 0
Debt Service $ 1,000.00
Trust & Agency $ 0
TOTAL $ 2,400,103.31
Certified Hires/FTE Changes:
• Vanessa Jacobson, elementary reading interventionist (iQ) @ .4754 FTE, effective 9/10/18
• Barb Huffman, ESL teacher, increase contract by .1367 FTE (Total of .8106 FTE); effective
• Stephanie Fleming, language arts teacher, increase contract by .0834 FTE (Total .6667 FTE);
Support Staff Hires:
• Lisa Runningen, Noon Hour Supervisor @ CL (.3125 FTE), effective 9/4/18
• Allison Rismoen, cafeteria @ KSS (.3125 FTE); effective 8/30/18
Support Staff Contract/FTE Changes:
• Patty Becker, cafeteria @ CL, increased by 30 minutes/daily (.3755) ; effective 8/30/18
• Brittney Munday, cafeteria @ KSS, increased by 2 hrs/daily (1 FTE); effective 8/30/18
• Lorraine Hicks, cafeteria @ KSS, decreased by 4 hrs/daily (.5 FTE); effective 8/30/18
Stephen Vigesaa moved to approve the consent agenda. The motion was seconded by Natalie Knutson
and carried unanimously.
1. Blaine Danielson moved to approve Policy #721- Uniform Grant Guidance Policy Regarding Federal Revenue
Sources. The motion was seconded by Matthew Lemke and carried unanimously.
1. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the Adult Basic Education Consortium Membership Agreement;
Effective 7/1/18-6/30/19. The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously.
2. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the 2018-19 Fergus Falls Leadership Team Program Contract
with Giant Worldwide; effective 9/1/18-6/30/19. The motion was seconded by Natalie Knutson and
3. Blaine Danielson moved that the School Board to go into a closed session, beginning at 5:52 pm,
permitted by Minnesota Statute §13D.03 to discuss negotiation strategies related to the District’s
negotiations with the Education Minnesota Fergus Falls Special Education Paraprofessional
Association. The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously.
4. Matthew Lemke moved to re-open the School Board meeting at 6:25 pm. The motion was seconded
by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously.
Otter Pride Night is scheduled from 5-7 pm on Friday, September 14 in the Kennedy Secondary School’s
Gold Gym. The next regular School Board meeting will be held at 7:15 am Monday, September 24, 2018
in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School.
Blaine Danielson made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:26 pm. The motion was seconded by
Natalie Knutson and carried unanimously.
A work session followed the School Board meeting.