School weighs special ed. additions

By Chad Koenen


The New York Mills School District seems to be bucking the trend when it comes to a shortage of bus drivers. While a number of school districts in the region are piece milling bus routes and desperately looking for people to fill in as bus drivers, the NY Mills School District has been able to keep a full staff of bus drivers for most of the school year.

During its regularly scheduled meeting on March 25, the NY Mills School Board heard from transportation director Brent Gudmundson who said the school district continues to maintain nine bus routes in the district. He said they are now short one bus driver in the evening, but otherwise the school district has been able to keep a full roster of bus drivers this year.

In a brief presentation to the school board, Gudmundson was also complimentary of the quality of bus drivers the school district currently has on staff. He said the bus drivers have made a point to get to know the students who ride their bus by their name and will often greet them when they get on each day. 

“We have great drivers,” he said. “I ride along with them a couple of times a year and the kids are greeted by their first name, which is great.”

In other news

• Heard from elementary principal Judith Brockway who said the school district is currently looking into adding a fifth special education teacher in the fall due to the growing needs of students. Currently the school district has four special education teachers. 

• Acknowledged the following donations: $870 from the NY Mills VFW Post 3289 for Close-Up, $355 from Farmers and Merchants State bank for the third grade field trip, $1,200 from the NY Mills Lions Club to the DARE Program, $680 from the NY Mills Lions Club for the band trip, a book donation from author Paul Sailer and $1,603 from the Arvig Rebate for Schools program to the NY Mills School general fund.

• Approved an overnight trip for the NY Mills FFA in Vadnais Heights from April 21-23 for the state FFA competition. 

• Approved an overnight stay in Minneapolis from March 14-16 for the state BPA competition.

• Approved the following appointments: Terence Ohlgren as EBD teacher, Zach Hocking as a softball coach (booster club), Tiffany Briard as a softball coach (booster club), Terry Geiser as a volunteer baseball coach, Greg Esala as a volunteer baseball coach and Jake Seelhammer as a baseball coach (booster club).

• Approved the following resignations: Emily Roggenkamp as a paraprofessional, Dale Eckhoff as a bus driver and Julie Witt as a paraprofessional.