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May 25, 2011     Winthrop News
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May 25, 2011
 

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Established 1887 Volume m3, Number 31 W'mthrop, Minnesota Wednesday, May 25, 2Oll $1.oo This We Page 3 FFA Ba Page 5 Element Page 6 GFW sp Page 7 Spring sl Page 8 Lions an Page 9 NHS me ii!i ? ;i!i ,: i!? i!zi: d ...... ill, Four honored for service on ambulance The Winthrop Ambulance service honored four long-time members of the crew who have recently retired. They were presented appreciation plaques at the annual fundraiser held in conjuction with EMS Week. From left to right: Tim Schmidt, Donna Schiro, Lynette Froehlich and Bruce Froehlich. Photo by Michael Mattison Kamerud, Herschman retire from GFW by Michael Mattison Gail Herschman and JoAnn Kamerud are two of the six teach- ers retiring from the GFW School District at the end of the school year. Herschman grew up in Lyle and attended Austin Community College for two years before going to work at Control Data in Bloomington for a year. Coming from a small community, she felt she wanted to see life in the big city but found out she liked a more small-town atmosphere. "I majored in secretary but decided that work wasn't what I wanted to do," she said. "I wanted to use the credits that I already had from Austin and liked the business classes that I took in high school and college and teaching seemed a good fit." She went back to school and graduated from St. Cloud State University. Her first job was in Gibbon and she has stayed with the district which consolidated into GFW. She said her plan was to leave after one year but she met a guy named Steve Herschman at a school function. A year later, he asked her to marry her at that same function. "Someone told me to stay at leat two years. I met Steve and it turned out to be a great decision." She started out teaching busi- ness, accounting, office proce- dures, typing and business math. The courses over the years have changed but the one she has taught every year is accounting. "I like things to work out," Herschman said of why she chose business to teach. "In accounting, it all works out. Debits equal cred- its." When she arrived the first day, she didn't know how she was going to do. "My very first class of the first day was a study hall filled with junior and senior boys who did not want to be in school. But I survived," she said with a laugh. "The most enjoyable part of teaching is when you are working with the kids and they understand something and they get excited about it. It's also rewarding when you talk to former students who have graduated and they tell you that the classes you taught really helped them or they enjoyed hav- ing you as a teacher. It's just been great to work with the students and watch them grow up." The biggest challenge has been working with the students who really didn't want to be in school. But Herschman said some of those students have been ones that she has formed strong bonds with. "Technology. Computers are the number one, biggest change and that has been good," Herschman said. "The hardest change has been testing, testing testing. It hasn't really affected my classroom teaching. It does affect the number of students that take my classes. My classes are electives and some students can't get into the areas they like because there is not enough time. Things get cut because there is such a strong emphasis on that. Thank goodness we have a principal and adminstra- tion that support the vocational classes." Gail plans on finding a job after retirement away from education. "I want something that you can leave at the end of the day and leave everything at work," she said. "You take teaching home with you ." She said she also wants to trav- el more and joked that she will be able to celebrate her son's birthday with him now which is right at the beginning of the school year. On the timing of retirement Herschman said, "Change is get- ring harder for me to accept. The kids also need younger blood and new ideas in the classroom. "I am going to miss the kids and their sense of humor and I'm going to miss the wonderful staff that I work with." "It's been great being a part of this community." Kamerud got into the teaching professional later than most. She had worked at 3M in New Ulm for 15 years and in 1984, at the age of 35, she decided to attend Mankato State University. She did her grad- Gail Herschmlan JoAnn Kamerud uate studies at St. Cloud State University. "When I was working at 3M, I had friends who were teachers," she said. "They were all doing fun stuff in the summer and I couldn't. I said I was going to college. I took a communications disorders class. I loved it and switched right away." She began at GFW taking over for the speech therapist who was on maternity leave and also worked part-time at the high school for awhile. "I was going to work one year and move on but I loved the culture of the school when I started. It has such a caring and flexible staff," she said. She enjoys working in the ele- mentary school special education classroom. "I love the kids. Some need a lot of overall language skills. I particularly like working with articulation with the kids. You can see them progress so quickly." The biggest challenges that Kamerud has faced have not been in the classroom. "Since 2000, schools have been required to bill for medical assistance. I am responsible for that." She said at many schools, the nurse will do that job. "It really brings in a lot of extra money for the district so it needs to be done. It takes a lot of paperwork and they continually change things." JoAnn said she was planning on waiting another year or two to retire. She found out that she fit the criteria and the school was offering a great retirement package so she decided it was the right time, espe- cially with all of the testing and the paperwork. "I have a great granddaughter and I plan on spending more time with her," she said. "I'm going to find something to fill my time." She said that she may substitute teach and hopefully do some vol- unteer work. She has many moments that she looks back on fondly. Two came fight to mind. "One of the first ones is a kid came into my classroom and asked me where my bed was. They think that we live here," she said. "Another one asked me if I had a job." Kamerud said she is going to miss the kids and her co-workers. "It has just been a joy to be a part of the GFW community and working with all those special kids," JoAnn said. "I love it here at the elementary school. The kids are so easy to please and they love you. It's great to be able to do your job and see such progress with the kids." GFW staffing shuffled Board begins discussion on a fall referenoum by Doug Hanson Superintendent Tony Boyer called it a domino affect as the 2011 -12 budget reductions called for a reduction in staffing. That reduction led to a ripple effect as teachers with more senority bumped other teach- ers into different positions. Principal Ralph Fairchild stated that the elementary school will see two multi-age classrooms, a first- second grade class led by Mrs. Fairchild and a third-fourth grade class led by Mrs. Hentges. So there will be three kindergarten classes, two first grade, two second grade, one first/second grade classroom, two third grade, two fourth grade and one third/fourth grade class. While only one full-time teach- ing position will be cut, the adminis- tration is concerned about possible cuts from the State after the legisla- tion session is completed. In the end Melissa Hunter and Jessica Jarvis, two probationary teachers did not have their contracts renewed. Hunter, once a long term sub was hired two years ago as a fourth grade teacher, then last year she was switched to the middle school as a math and reading teacher. Jarvis was hired two years ago when GFW went to all day every day kindergarten and needed three teachers at that level. The third probationary teacher to not have a contract renewed was Jessieann Johnson. Johnson was hired last fall as a special education teacher. She was given a license variance with the understanding she would receive the proper license. Although Johnson has passed the required classes, at this point she had not passed all the tests to receive her license. Superintendent Boyer stated that the terminations were not because of :any lack of ability, but instead to protect the District. He added that it was possible that one or more of these teachers could be rehired once staffing placement is completed. The School Board also accepted  the early retirement/resignation of Sue Schwarzrock. She has been the ECFE Coordinator since 1992. Although not part of the certified staff negotiating unit, Schwarzrock was offered the same retirement package as the five veteran teachers that resigned last month. The super- intendent projected a savings of $16,033 to the School District with this retirement. The Board also accepted the res- ignation request of Bill Neubarth as an assistant varsity football coach. Voting on a new referendum next fall was part of the discussion at Monday's meeting. Superintendent Boyer requested approval to present information at the June Board meet- ing. The superintendent suggested a two question referendum for this fall, one to renew the existing $468.19 operating levy which sun- sets at fiscal year 2013 and the sec- ond question for an additional $450. Boyer stated that the state average is over $9130 for schools. The Board wanted to discuss the referendum at its next meeting, espe- cially if there should be one question for the total amount or two ques- tions. More on the school board meet- ing in next week's News. Information on the approved roofing project, band trip, budget and more. New members inducted into NHS Membership in the GFW National Honor Society grew Monday evening when 11 new members were inducted into the organization. Casidy Sioot lights her candle and later received her certificate during the ceremony. More photos on page 9. Photo by Michael Mattison News Briefs Early deadline for News With the Memorial Day holiday, the Winthrop News will have early deadline for advertising and news copy. Advertising for the Golden Galaxy will be Thursday at 4 p.m. The News deadline is Friday at noon. School update Wednesday, May 25, is the annual GFW Fine Arts Banquet, starting at 6:00 p.m. in the lunchroom. Thursday, June 2, and Friday, June 3, are semester finals days for all GFW High School students. Friday, June 3, is the last day of classes for students. High school stu- dents will be dismissed at 11:15 a.m. Graduation is Sunday, June 5, at 2:00 p.m. in the GFW Gymnasium. Doors will open at 12:45 p.m. There is no reserved seating. Should you need accommodations, please contact the high school office. The staff at GFW High School would like to congratulate of 2011 and wish them all the best in the years ahead.