Football field likely ready for first home game Sept. 29

Photo by Robert Williams
Technology Coordinator Gretchen Norby, left, and Technology Specialist April Wurst, right, were honored with the 2023 Above and Beyond Team award for their efforts since the pandemic by Frazee School Board chair Thaddeus Helmers, center, and superintendent Terry Karger during Monday’s meeting.

By Robert Williams


Superintendent Terry Karger nominated Technology Coordinator Gretchen Norby and Technology Specialist April Wurst for the school’s 2023 Above and Beyond Team award during the monthly meeting of the school board on Monday, Aug. 14.

“As you think back to where technology was for us and where it is today and back to the COVID year and all we had to do, through all of this, we had two individuals who have weathered the storm and done our district nothing but right. I’m very honored and pleased and happy with both of them to put them up for the 2023 Above and Beyond team who went above and beyond the call of duty to keep our district moving forward with technology.”

Frazee School Board chair Thaddeus Helmers presented the award.

“I know what you do is a tough job and I know you are behind the scenes in a lot of stuff and the students really get and take advantage of it and you provide a lot to the district and kids,” he said. “I really appreciate both of you.”

Norby thanked the board and the district for their support.

“That’s how we’ve been able to achieve what we have,” she said.

Wurst has worked for the district for two decades and noted she likes to remain in the background and does not necessarily need to be awarded, but was appreciative nonetheless.

“I know I’m doing a job and doing it well and I know that my customers are important,” she said. 


Karger reported on the Capital Investment Committee Members and regional senators were in Frazee Tuesday, Aug 15, as part of a 25-site visit around northwest Minnesota as part of the 2023 Bonding Tour.

His comments were in support of the city’s pursuit to attain a $1.85 million bonding request that would pave North River Drive behind the school, along with installing sewer and water infrastructure to Wannigan Regional Park.

“A lot of our focus is on safety,” he said. “We’re expanding back there and now the road goes through. We have dust and mud and washboards. There are a lot of things that benefit us as a school district to have that paved and we would like to support the city in their endeavors.”

Sports Complex

A project update on the new sports complex included the installation of both goal posts on the football field. A scoreboard is set for installation this week. Speakers have been installed on the press box. Painting is scheduled for the track this week. 

The first home football game scheduled for Friday, Sept. 15, against Crookston, will likely be played at Moorhead high school as the field turf maintenance is finalized.

The field is expected to be ready for week five, which is Homecoming, Friday, Sept. 29, against Pelican Rapids.

Karger listed the first home game on Sept. 29 as a “possibility” depending on weather over the next six weeks.

The board also voted to move forward with a Johnson Controls Proposal of $11,250 for the replacement of the Elementary Kitchen air conditioning unit.

New staff

Karger discussed the new teacher workshops with the school year fast approaching. Each new instructor is assigned a mentor and there are multiple meetings Tuesday, Aug. 22. 

New staff members this year are: Karli Wherley, first grade; Michael Sievert, fifth grade; Mike Miller, sixth grade; Delaney Matejka, Elementary music, gifted and talented; Jolene Tappe, Elementary Specific learning disability; Paige Martelle, Speech-Language Pathology; Kendra Wattenhofer, High School emotional/behavioral disability and Aaron Boyer, Career and technical education.

The Student Support Coordinator, formerly funded by ESSER, will be back again this school year. The district elected to not bring back another ESSER funded position, the elementary social worker. That salary is reappropriated to the support coordinator. The position includes assisting the principal in investigations regarding bullying and other student needs or situations.

“It worked out very well last year,” Karger said. “His ability, if it is the same person, to work through and bring some calmness to the investigation was amazing.”

The year-to-year independent contract position will be posted. Jerry Hanson, of Frazee, was last year’s coordinator.

Discussions were had on hiring Concessions Coordinator/co-Coordinator position(s)for the school year.


Assistant Volleyball Coach Kaitlyn Hoekstra, effective immediately

Elementary Physical Education Teacher, Assistant football coach, junior high basketball coach Bryan Gillespie, effective August 10.


Speech and Language Pathologist Paige Martelle

Elementary Teacher Maegan Reller 

Elementary Teacher Michael Sievert 

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher Aaron Boyer

Physical Education Teacher Daniel Stiel 

Long Term Substitute Elementary Teacher Elaine Palmer 

Student Council Advisor Danielle Adams 

Assistant Varsity Football Coach Roger Thorp 

Positive Community Norms (PCN) Media Consultant Michelle Sharp (independent contractor for PCN, paid by Cornerstone)

Subcontractor for the Middle School/Junior High Youth Group Leader for the Positive Community Norms (PCN) Grant Sara Jacobson


Bell Bank donated $15 for the Custom Card program.