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Frazee-Vergas superintendent clears the air

Deron Stender wants to clear the air and leave behind a more positive trail.

The Frazee-Vergas superintendent apologized for being "long winded" during Monday's board meeting, but he spent time clarifying the hiring process of business office assistant Amie Erickson -- which has been the subject of letters to the editor and online comments.

And he said the school district needs to start promoting its positive aspects, which are being overlooked due to the negative events coming out of board meetings as of late.

Stender said there were 29 applicants for the business office position, with the pool being narrowed to five for interviews. One person backed out, leaving four interviews. He said a group of people including himself, business managers Donna Mineer and Diane Menz, and special education director Marcy Matson conducted the interviews.

The applicants were required to have a four-year degree, and those chosen for the interview were also given a skills test. He said the group decided as a whole that Erickson was the right candidate for the position and offered it to her. It was not just his decision, he emphasized.

Also, Stender said Erickson's rate of pay is $30,000 a year, not the rumored $47,000.

"I wanted to clear the air on that issue," he said.

Another issue was the negative public image the board and district seem to have. Stender said the school district isn't promoting its positives enough.

He told the board that it is a good board, makes sound decisions and does what boards in other districts do. The district is doing well also, with truancy numbers down and social services and law enforcement referrals both down.

"We continue to build that pride," he said. Custodians have painted the inside of the buildings this summer and some new lockers have been installed, and he commended the custodians on their efforts.

"I've got a lot of pride in Frazee-Vergas Schools, this board and this staff," he continued.

He added that last year was a great school year and the district is getting ready to start another great year.

"It's our job to start promoting this school," he said.