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Reaching EVERYbody! Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid St. Joseph Newsleader St. Joseph, MN 56374 Permit No. 21 ECRWSS Postal Customer Newsleader Sartell Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 Volume 19, Issue 5 Est. 1995 Town Crier Senior Connection hosts community meet, greet Sartell Senior Connection invites residents to a Community Meet and Greet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 at the Sartell District Service Center, 212 3rd Ave. N. If you are interested in meeting others with same interests to attend local events, please come and enjoy an evening of getting to know each other and looking over what’s happening from free events, theater, choirs, movies and much more. All ages are welcome. Public forums set for super. candidates Sartell residents are encouraged to attend open forums for interviews of the final three candidates for superintendent of the Sartell-St. Stephen School District. The forums are scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Sartell High School Media Center on three days: Monday, Feb. 3; Wednesday, Feb. 5; and Thursday, Feb. 6. Each day, a different candidate will spend the entire day at get-acquainted sessions at the schools. On each of those three days, the public is invited to meet the candidate for a questionand-answer session at 5 p.m. in the Sartell High School Media Center. At 7:45 p.m. on each evening, the board will interview a candidate. The final discussion during which school-board members will discuss all the candidates will take place at 8:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, and the public is invited to sit in on that meeting at the Media Center. All three forums will be open to staff, students and Sartell residents. (For more about the superintendent search, see related story in today’s paper.) Nominate your daycare 2013 Provider of the Year Is your daycare provider outstanding? If you would like to nominate your licensed family child-care provider to be considered for the 2013 Provider of the Year, please download and complete a form at by April 15 and send it to Stearns Benton Child Care Association, P.O. Box 7721, St. Cloud, MN 56302 or email to Each May, daycare providers are honored by the two-county child care association during its banquet on Provider Appreciation Day which is Friday, May 9. If you have any questions about this form, please contact Stearns Benton Child Care Association President Karen Davis at 320-240-0281. Postal Patron GRRL, Sartell move closer to plan for library Throughout the past 12 years, several citywide surveys in Sartell have shown “library” to be at the top or very near the top of a majority of responses from residents. A by Dennis Dalman The St. Cloud-based Great River Regional Library System has agreed to consider a conceptual plan for a Sartell branch library, which will be presented to the library board in March. City officials and the GRRL Board met Jan. 21 and came to an agreement about the city submitting a plan. The plan would include some kind of firm commitment by Sartell to provide a suitable structure to house a branch library. It’s likely a branch library would be included on the premises of a communityresource center, but other sites (new or retrofitted) have not been ruled out, said Sartell Administrator Mary Degiovanni. If all goes well, Sartell could begin building a library (and community-resource center) this year, and the library could open in 2015. An assessment plan drawn up by the GRRL Board stated a Sartell branch library would likely have a circulation of 150,000 items per year and should, ideally, be open 40 hours a week. It would cost GRRL about $150,000 for staffing. GRRL would be responsible for all staffing, materials and programming. Sartell would pay for ongoing building maintenance and utilities. (For more about how a branch library operates, see related story about the Waite Park Library in this issue.) “We’ve indicated to the (GRRL) board we’re ready to move forward,” said Degiovanni, who attended the Jan. 21 joint meeting, along with Sartell Mayor Joe Perske and several other individuals. Perske reiterated to the board that Sartell residents have long wanted a branch library, that the city is committed to paying for it with revenue from the regional half-cent sales tax and that the city is long overdue for a library, considering its rapid growth of population in recent years. majority of city council members throughout the years has also expressed enthusiasm for a branch library. Degiovanni noted all of the Library • page 2 Local students rock with science at SCSU contributed photo St. Francis Xavier students (left to right) Jacob Stozenberg, Ricki Emslander and Faith Van Erp work with an animal heart during the “Science Rocks” event. Science • page 4 Seven compete for superintendent position by Dennis Dalman Seven candidates are now vying for the position of superintendent of the Sartell-St. Stephen School District, and the one selected by the board might be announced as soon as the end of the first week of February. The search is on for someone to replace Dr. Joe Hill, former Sartell-St. Stephen superinten- dent who resigned last year. At a special school-board meeting Jan. 27, board members chose the seven candidates from an application pool of 38 on-line submissions. Those candidates are now being interviewed. As of press time, four of them were slated to be interviewed Jan. 28 and three of them Jan. 29. The board will then choose three finalists from the seven, Weather closes schools again For the fourth time this winter, schools in Sartell were closed because of bitterly cold, snowy and windy weather. School was canceled for two consecutive days, Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 27 and 28, when wind-chill temperatures dipped to 40-below zero and even lower at times. Schools were also closed Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 6 and 7 for the same weather-related reasons. Friday, Jan. 17 was a makeup day for students. The school board has also designated Monday, April 21 as a make-up day. Throughout the months of December and January, two of the coldest months in Minnesota history, there were frequent closings and cancellations not only of schools but also of events, meetings and activities throughout central Minnesota and elsewhere. and they will be interviewed the first week of February. The seven finalists – six of them from Minnesota, one from Iowa – are the following, listed in the order in which they will be interviewed: John Engelkind, superintendent at Proctor; Jenny Bushman, director of curriculum instruction and assessment in the Winona School District; Jeff Schwiebert, superintendent for North Scott Community Schools in Eldridge, Iowa; Diane Moeller, assistant superintendent for St. Cloud District 742 and former principal of Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph; Ron Wilkie, superintendent at La Crescent; Paul Neubauer, director of curriculum and instruction at St. Francis; and Debra Lechner, director of teaching and learning for the Brainerd School District. Lechner had worked in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District years ago as teaching and learning director until taking the Brainerd job 12 years ago. In addition, her late husband, Leon Lechner, was activities director for Sartell schools. “The board will be faced with tough choices,” consultant Dr. Greg Vandal told the Sartell Newsleader right after the Jan. 27 meeting. “Sartell-St. Stephen has a great reputation, and lot of people are interested in being part of the school system.” Vandal, former superintendent of the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District, is a member of the consulting firm of “School Exec Connect,” which was chosen last year by the school board to help in the search for a new superintendent. Vandal has worked side by side with another School Exec Connect consultant, Dr. Ken Dragseth, director of administrative licensure at the University of Minnesota’s School of Education and retired superintendent of the Edina School District. From those finalists, the next round would happen Monday, Feb. 3, Wednesday, Feb. 5 and Thursday, Feb. 6 as each of the three finalists will be interviewed during public open forums on those evenings, one candidate on each evening, each starting at 7:45 p.m. in Super • page 2

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