School opens as construction whirls to conclusion

Minneota Schools opened the new year on Tuesday, and that evening the first day of school drew loud praise from school board members and staff. “We did have a great first day,” said Elementary Principal Jennifer Mahan-Deitte.

“It was a great first day of school,” reiterated High School Principal Jeremy Frie. “The open house went extremely well. The teachers made the rooms look so outstanding. I’m blown away about how well they did,” added Mahan-Deitte.

“I want to complement Les Engler’s crew (maintenance). It’s a pain to have construction two years in a row and they were always happy and always positive,” said Superintendent Dan Deitte.

Superintendent Deitte also praised, “Everyone who came back after a year of construction.

Everyone was very flexible.” “I want give a big thank you to my staff. They did a great job. The building looked great and looks fantastic. They cleaned some areas three or four times because of a lot of construction dusk,” said Maintenance Supervisor Les Engler.

“I want to thank everyone because it was chaotic at times. And thanks to Dan Deitte, who really is the project manager,” Engler added. Superintendent Deitte told the board the current construction, “Is winding down.”

All but the band room has floor installed and Director John Voit asked to have his room carpeted for acoustic reasons. Deitte indicated:

—The painting is done.

—Locker rooms are still being working on. Flooring is being done and the girls and boys locker rooms will be ready to use.

“The visitors locker rooms are not ready but that’s okay, they are not needed right now,” said Deitte. “What we were hoping to get done we got done,” he added.

The new garage across the street from the school is, “The only thing left and we waited on that for the kids to work on it.” Matt Buysse’s class will get practical experience by helping build the garage with Bruce Laleman.

IN OTHER action the board:

•Approved the resignation of Nancy Dilley for this school year.

•Approved Dan Deitte’s superintendent contract through 2023.

•Approved David Moriarty to supervise one-hour study hall. Also approved Tammy Tolk as extracurricular supervisor; Al Panka as student council advisor; Wade Gillund as junior high wrestling coach; Chris Shuckhart as senior class advisor; Aubree Cheadle as music director, John Voit as orchestra director and Sue Schrier as vocal director for the fall musical.

•Noted enrollment is at about 522. “We budgeted on 527 so we’re a little under on the budget,” said Supt. Dan Deitte. •Heard Elementary Principal Jennifer Mahan-Deitte say, “We are close to having a therapy dog.” Details are being worked out.

•Was told the school applied for a grant for robotics of $5,000. “Hopefully, we can keep improving the program with this grant,” said Deitte about the Robotics program.

•Heard the new lunch menu will offer two units each day. “We will also offer a deli sandwich each day. The salad bar is put out Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. That’s quite an improvement. That was a nice change for our food service,” said Supt. Deitte.

•Also heard Cari Pohlen, Activities Director report:

—There are 41 volleyball players.

—There are 15 cross country runners going to Canby.

—And there are 41 in football.

—Grounds: A new fence is in and it looks great.

—Clocks for the new locker rooms are being installed so teams and referees will know when to return to the court. But so far, they are still working on how to get them synchronized with the main clock.

•Heard Les Engler, building and grounds indicate:

—The white boards are up and chalk boards down

. —“We painted a lot of walls.”

—Door frames are being made standard. “We want all to be blue, the same color so they’ll match,” he said.

—The Viking Hall and the main hall all were waxed.

— “It’s been beneficial to have kids on staff this summer to do little stuff and free us up for the rest of the duties. I hope you will continue doing that. It will benefit us in the future, too,” said Engler.

—“They do think the locker room may be ready by Thursday morning. They are trying to get them done so we can use them,” he said.

•The board met in closed session to consider a request by parents to allow their son to attend the school after he left at the end of last year. The board took no action and referred the matter to the September 17 meeting.

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Minneota, MN 56264

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