Over the course of the past 10 years or so, the Upsala School District has been the recipient of anonymous donations adding up to more than $65,000. The donations are usually given in $10,000 increments, a jaw-dropping amount for a single donation, let alone continued sums that size.
The district gratefully receives the donations and puts them to good use for the benefit of the district. Another such contribution was approved by the Upsala School Board at Wednesday’s meeting.
“We have always looked at these donations as something to benefit the students, and that’s what we try to do,” said Supt. Vern Capelle. “The funds are used to support programs we might not have been able to do, and to help students with other needs. It gives us the opportunity to do some really good things.”
Receiving the donations is never a routine thing.
“We always marvel at the generosity of these donations,” Capelle said.
Since the donations are not designated for any specific purpose, they are added to the district’s general fund.
“These come along regularly and they are just incredible – for someone to be that generous and then anonymous …” said Board President Dean Petersen. “I don’t know how many districts have something like that. We are very grateful.”
Upsala School Board Briefs
Other business coming before the Upsala School Board at Wednesday’s meeting included:
• Hearing a facility update by Supt. Vern Capelle, that upcoming maintenance, repair or replacement projects will be looked at for the tennis courts, press box and dugout, skating rink, flooring, lighting, roofs and the auditorium;
• Learning that there were no long-term substitute applicants for the time of Spanish teacher Lindsey Bergmann’s upcoming leave. Coursework will be arranged ahead of time and classroom supervision filled in-house;
• Receiving a report on the summer custodial staff, now at four people. “They’ve done a great job; I don’t think the building has ever looked better since it was new,” said Capelle;
• Approving a quote with Benefit Innovations for the health insurance renewal with Resource Training and Solutions for the upcoming school year;
• Approving a contract for shared time with Swanville Schools, selling 50 percent of the speech pathologist’s time for the upcoming year;
• Approving a contract for shared time with Swanville Schools, selling 50 percent of the preschool paraprofessional’s time for the upcoming year;
• Approving a 50-cent per hour raise for Head Custodian Wade Lange, as discussed upon his previous promotion;
• Approving a contract with Brooklyn Thieschafer as para for 21 hours per week;
• Approving the resignation of Nikki Showalter as para after four years;
• Approving the hiring of Melanie Daniel as office administrator, filling Rita Herbes’ vacated position;
• Approving the hiring of Jackie George Wolbeck as a three-hour kitchen position and of DanLynn Kolstad as a five-hour kitchen position, both for 172 days;
• Approving the addition of an assistant football coach at 6 percent of BA in Lane Step 1 for one year. “This is not a Schedule C position,” said Capelle. “It will be called the ‘swing coach’. The need was determined based on having nearly 90 kids in grades 7-12. We really want to have two coaches at every game;”
• Accepting federal grants for the following: Title I for $50,691.34, Title II for $10,499.35 and Title IV for $10,000; and
Approving the hiring of Joey Fuchs as assistant head custodian with a 250-day contract and the hiring of Mason Lange as custodian with a 178-day contract.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Upsala School Board will be Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school media center.