The next school year is three months away, but staffing matters are already at the forefront—including the replacement of departing teachers. 

Pelican Rapids will be in the market for a new teacher-wrestling coach. 

Coach Cole Witzig will leave for a teaching position in another state, creating the wrestling vacancy. Witzig has been a coach and social studies teacher for the past two years. 

Also departing is Abby Mooney, an English teacher involved in school activities with the student council and theater.   

A part-time family-consumer science teacher will be added to the faculty roster next year, explained high school, Principal Laura Januszewski.

The high school will expand its offerings, including two cosmetology classes for students interested in those careers. Living skills for grade 7 will be added to provide students instruction in personal budgeting, nutrition, and leadership, said Januszewski.

In other staffing matters:

  • The board approved the resignation of Manda Erickson as Special Education Paraprofessional at PRHS 
  • Approved the resignation of Amy Haiby as Special Education Paraprofessional
  • Approved the hire of Celeste Olson as Title I Teacher
  • Approve the leave of absence for Mikaela Fason as PE Teacher at PRHS

FFA, art students at events 

Seventeen Pelican FFA students recently attended the state convention. 

Eleven students exhibited work at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center annual high school art contest, reported Januszewski.  

In activities, Principal Derrick Nelson reported that the Sub Section Track Meet is May 25 in Barnesville. Baseball playoffs are underway May 30. Sub-section golf starts May 31 

Pelican Rapids will host the Section track meet on June 1.  

Enrollment report

The school year is ending with an uptick in high school enrollment, with 415 students compared to 413 at the start of the school year.  

Elementary school was down from 429 at the start of the year to 423.  

No change in activity fees 

Superintendent Brian Korf reported that the school will keep activity fees at the same rates—with no Increase for the 2023-24 school year. 

Policy updates         

The school board continues its sweeping review of policy documents, with slight updates to a number of policies.  Among them: 

  • Harassment and Violence
  • Chemical use and abuse
  • Drug and alcohol testing 
  • Reporting of child neglect.  

Nearly 20 policies are pending approval, ranging from school weapons to school attendance and student dress and appearance. 

Superintendent Korf said the policies are largely patterned after Minnesota School Board Association recommendations, with minimal language changes.