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The St. Michael Albertville School Board met June 15 electronically as allowed by State and Federal Emergency Executive Orders. They provided a link for the public to also attend electronically and a recording of the meeting is available for review.

The Board met to recognize students who had received national awards, hear a report on activities in the past year and raise meal fees for next year.

Student recognition

The St. Michael-Albertville School Board recognized two groups of students who have received national awards this spring. Claire Fredrickson, Madalyn Sawyer and Grace Sinkule won first place at the Business Professionals of America National Competition. BPA gives students across the country the opportunity to develop, lead and compete as they prepare for careers in today’s modern business environment. The three students developed plans for a hotel.

School Board Chairperson Drew Scherber commended them for their solid character, responsibility, and an unparalleled work ethic. The students were presented with certificates from the district.

Three students were winners of the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Gold medals were given to Natalia Figueroa and Ava Marquette and Jade Resner received a silver medal. Each year, the Alliance partners with more than 100 visual arts and literary arts organizations across the country to bring the Scholastic Awards. Teens in grades seven to 12 apply in 29 categories of art and writing. Submissions are judged on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. This year of the nearly 320,000 submissions only 3,000 received a national medal.

Activities report

Activities Director Keith Cornell reported on the high school and middle school students who participated in a range of activities during the past year. His purpose is to “help students, coaches, and advisors learn kindness, integrity, honesty and trust to become the best version of themselves.” All the coaches have purpose statements which emphasize character development over winning.

Fees for activities were increased in the last two years to add coaches so more students could participate and as a result student involvement has increased.

Adaptive Floor Hockey was added to the Buffalo, Monticello and STMA Co-op and was hosted at Middle School East. These three districts also offer Adaptive Soccer and Adaptive Softball.

Another highlight was sending the Girls Cross Country team to the Minnesota State Competition. At the end of the winter season the wrestlers went to the State Tournament and the Girls Basketball team was participating in the State Tournament when Covid-19 shut down the competition. A number of other individuals represented STMA in other areas including the six recognized at the meeting.

This was the first year for STMA to compete in the Lake Conference and it went well. The schools in this conference have more levels so more students are able to compete. STMA students did very well in competing against the bigger schools.

The middle schools continue to compete in the Mississippi Eight Conference but the schedule was adjusted so there was less travel to distant schools. During the fall and winter terms 65% of the seventh grade students and 67% of the eighth graders participated in an activity outside of the school day and likely this number would have been higher if activities had continued into the spring.

Because there was a possibility that schools might reopen before the end of the school year, distance coaching was provided for athletes in spring sports. When it was clear that there would not be any spring sports the coaches continued to work with their students. Some teams did projects to help the community.

High School students Chloe Steinke and Cobin Szymanski received the ExCel Award which recognizes juniors who are leaders and who volunteer. Sam Duerr and Boston Merila received the AAA award for seniors who excel in Academics, Athletics and Arts. The Athena Award for a senior female athlete went to Anna LaRose.

Cornell commended Community Education Director Maryellen Barthel who was able to get summer programming going with two weeks’ notice. He is still waiting to see what will be allowed for the fall season and has been planning ways to accommodate fans if social distancing is still being required.

Meal prices

While the STMA district was using Distance Learning, lunches and breakfasts were available for students. This meant extra expense for the district though much of it will be reimbursed by the State of Minnesota. In order to recover more of the loss, Director of Food Services Dolores Helgeson asked the board members to increase the prices for next year’s meals. All lunch prices will be raised by ten cents. Breakfast prices will be five cents higher and milk will cost five cents more. The School Board approved the recommendation.

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