By Chad Koenen


Long before students show up to New York Mills School each day, a collective group of staff members work together to get students from their home to the school. 

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night, the NY Mills School Board heard from transportation supervisor Brent Gudmundson about the district’s bus and transportation fleet.

Gudmundson credited the bus drivers and their work each day in providing a safe mode of transportation, as well as a good bus fleet that provides both daily bus rides to school, as well as to the Twin Cities when needed for school functions. 

“I have a great crew. I talk to other supervisors and they have problems with people calling in sick (and being short handed),” he said. “We have a very good bus crew here.”

Gudmundson said the school district currently operates nine bus routes that range from an average 84-96  miles a day. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the school district expanded to 10 bus routes, something Gudmundson said he would like to explore in the future as the school district is about at full capacity for nine routes. 

In addition to having 14 buses, the school district transportation fleet has two vans, a Suburban, a Ford Escape and two pickups. Each vehicle serves a purpose for the school district like drivers education and plowing snow. 

While the school district has a good group of bus drivers, Gudmundson said additional bus drivers are always needed. A bus driver could earn up to $21,000 per year should they drive both in the morning and afternoon each day. Individuals who may be interested in taking the training necessary for driving a school bus, or would be interested in drive school bus for NY Mills, should contact the school or Gudmundson.

In other news

• Heard from Molly Costin concerning a desire from some staff members and parents to explore the possibility of hiring a school resource officer. Costin said she spoke with a number of teachers and parents of students at NY Mills School who would like to hire a school resource officer to provide an additional level of security at the school. The Underwood School District recently hired a school resource officer and Costin said that school district has been happy with the addition to the school district. 

• Approved a change to the school calendar that moved the scheduled 1 p.m. early day of release from Wednesday, April 5 to Thursday, April 6. The move will make April 5 a full day and move the planned early release to the day before Easter break. 

• Approved an American Indian Parent Advisory Committee Resolution. The advisory board is a requirement for the school district due to the amount of Native American students enrolled at NY Mills School. Novak said at one point this year the school district had 10 students who were Native American. There are currently six Native American students enrolled in the school district. 

• Accepted the following donations: $2,159.71 from Viking Coca Cola as part of the Powerade Rebate for Schools program, $300 from Farmers and Merchants State Bank for the third grade field trip, $300 from Newton Township for summer rec fees, $1,500 from the New York Lions Club for Cloe Up, $250 from the East Ottertail Dark House and Angling Club for the trap team, $250 from Brunswick for Close Up and $1,000 from Brunswick for the trap team.  

• Approved the following appointments: Theresa Bloomquist as a paraprofessional, Stephine Maloney as a paraprofessional, Jaime George as a long-term substitute, Amanda Musolino-Olson as a long-term substitute, Jennifer Woods as assistant boys and girls track coach, Kenna Salo as a JV softball coach, Kyle Geiser as a junior high baseball coach, Jake Seelhammer as a volunteer junior high baseball coach, Terry Geiser as a volunteer baseball coach, Greg Esala as a volunteer baseball and softball coach, Mikaela Malone as a volunteer track coach, Jenna Esala as a volunteer softball coach and Zach Hocking as a volunteer softball coach. 

• Accepted the resignation of Jenna Skoog as a paraprofessional and Jacob Krebs as a junior high baseball coach.