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Frazee School Board doesn't enact vacancy policy

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news Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

The Frazee-Vergas School Board agreed not to pass a procedure that would cement future school boards into only filling a vacant board position a certain way.

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District resident Joyce Bauer asked the school board pass a procedure that would appoint the next highest vote getter if the position is open within one year of an election.

She said she understands that the board was well within its rights to fill the vacated seat by interviewing those who applied, but she added, she also knows some of the public was not happy with that approach either.

"You're a fairly agreeable board," she said, wanting to keep it that way as opposed to the Elk River District, where she and her husband, Matt, moved from, which bickered more than it solved anything, she said.

Instead of approving a procedure, though, the board opted to follow the state statute that leaves it up to boards to decide how to fill the vacated position.

"We tried to personalize it for Frazee, what fits us best," Chair Dana Laine said of the interview process.

After Kathy Kallis resigned from the board earlier this year, since there was less than two years of her term left, it was up to the board to find a replacement.

After past board members declined a request to finish the term, the school board took a step it had never had to take in the past.

The board decided to open the spot up for applications, and then proceeded to interview the top three rated applicants. Don Thorp was chosen to finish out the term.

"The past few years has been exceptional relative to school board members resigning," board member Nancy Dashner said, who has served 14 years.

She added that she agreed the board should not "tie the hands" of future boards by saying how the vacated positions should be filled.

No one on the board disagreed with the decision to go with the state statute that leaves the process up to each individual board. A vote was not needed since it is a state statute already and the board is simply agreeing to follow it.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a first reading of the district's mission statement, and the second and final reading of the 2009-2010 district goals.

The mission statement: "The mission of the Frazee-Vergas Public School District is to provide quality education by promoting a safe and respectful environment which encourages the development of individual potential for life-long learning in a diversified society."

Some of the goals include providing high quality instruction and educational opportunities for all students; proactive, clear, consistent communication; optimizing the full potential of the district's financial resources and human resources, and providing 21st Century technology and skills for students and staff.

The next board meeting will be Monday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. in the high school media center.

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