By Barbie Porter


The coaching staff for high school sports saw a few big signings for its programs.

The dance program has become known for providing a powerhouse of routines that pull emotion from skillful dancers making precise moves. It has been without a head coach since  Katrina Courneya resigned and moved to another school district.

The board put out a call for interested applicants and received two resumes. Both were interviewed and Matejka was chosen for the head coach position.

Her duties include overseeing all functions of the dance program, including working with outside groups and elementary students.

Izzy Matejka is well-known in the dance world and brings  a vision for the program as well as prior experience in coaching line dance.

Volleyball also had big news with the head coach position. Molly Fairbanks was brought in to steer the Hornet hard hitters and precision passers. 

The high school art teacher will showcase her creativity and leadership skills by overseeing the volleyball program, including elementary activities. There were two applicants for the position and both were interviewed. 

Fairbanks was an assistant coach prior to taking the lead position, and therefore resigned from her assistant post.  Taking her assistant coaching position will be Kaitlyn Hoekstra.

Hoekstra, will assist with the up-and-coming volleyball players assigned to the B-team and C-team to further develop their skills before hitting the varsity floor.

There were three applicants for the assistant coach position and all were interviewed.

On the gridiron, John Barlund resigned as the assistant varsity coach.

The boys basketball program brought aboard Trey Heinsius as an assistant. He will help Ryan Vigen, who was recently hired as the head coach.

In other news

• Superindentant Terry Karger updated the board on remaining construction projects, such as the hood replacement in the kitchen facility. He said the fan is on back order, but once the item is shipped the piece will be installed. He added the school has received the necessary OK to provide meals for students should the part not come in before school begins.

• Approved the resignation of elementary teacher Kari Barlund. John Barlund was approved for a leave of absence. He is the high school physical education teacher.

• Hirings approved by the board included Trey Heinsius, Miranda Tubridy, Erica Ratz, Heidi Moen and Michelle Sharp.

Heinsius was hired as a sixth grade elementary teacher. He brings with him work experience on his resume and his interview skills separated him from the other 13 applicants, of which six were interviewed. Heinsius will be paid at BA step one, $41,404.

Tubridy was hired as a fourth grade teacher. Experience was noted to be one reason Tubridy was a top pick. The new teacher was one of six applicants that were interviewed from a pool of 13. Tubridy will be paid at BA 30, step 3, $47,205.

Ratz was hired as a social studies teacher. It was noted she holds a Minnesota Educator License in the area of social studies and has taught special education for a year. 

Ratz was one of six interviewed for the position, of which 14 applied. She was hired at BA step one, $41,404.

Moen was hired as the high school administrative assistant. 

She was one of four interviewed with a pool of eight applicants. 

Her duties include assisting the activities director/ assistant principal and high school principal. Her job may tackle assistance with activities, discipline, ensuring substitutes are secured, promoting school activities online and more. 

She will be paid $16.04 an hour and brings 22 years of experience working in the field of human services. Her work provides a strong understanding of meeting deadlines and tracking data, both of which are essential skills for her new position with the school district.

Sharp was hired as the high school media center aide at the rate of $14.65 per hour. She was one of three applicants that applied and was interviewed for the position. Sharp stood out from other applicants by bringing previous library experience and extensive media and graphic design experience. She also offered experience with organizational duties, office assistance and customer service. 

Her duties include supervising students in the media center, proctoring college exams, managing inventory and more. 

• The board approved new rates for substitute teachers. The price increased by $5 for a total of $125 per day. 

• Approved selling two parcels of land to MnDOT. One is located along North River Drive, on the side closest to the river. The property was estimated at $41,000 and the funds will go into the general fund. The other parcel is on the same side of the road as the high school. The district can purchase back the land once roadwork is completed along State Highway 87 for the same amount of $2,100.