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Dan Davies retires as North Crawford superintendent

The changing of the guard at North Crawford Schools continued in earnest at the school board meeting last Thursday, when it was announced Dr. Dan Davies, the district administrator, had submitted his resignation.

Earlier in the month, the board accepted the resignation of the North Crawford Director of Special Education, Pat Wenske.

At last Thursday’s meeting, board member Judy Powell made a motion to “regretfully accept” Davies’ resignation. The motion was seconded by Wade Dull and passed by the board.

In introducing the agenda item, middle/high school principal Brandon Munson, who is serving as the interim district administrator, said it was a bittersweet moment for him. He noted that it was with Davies support that he was able to move into the administrative positions of elementary principal and more recently middle school-high school principal and now the district administrator position.

“I’m indebted to Dan Davies for giving me a shot at working in the administration,” Munson said. He went on to compliment Davies on the many years of “amazing service” he had provided to the district.

Munson noted the district is financially better off than most districts around the area in these difficult times for public education. Munson also pointed out that the district was very well positioned in terms of technology because of Davies’ efforts.

Later following a closed session discussion, the board reconvened in open session and approved Brandon Munson as the new North Crawford District Administrator.

The board also approved a new contract for elementary school principal Julie Kruizenga that will add the duties of director of special education to her principal duties. Kruizenga has taken additional course work in special education to qualify her for the position.

As a result of the resignations and the promotion of Munson to the school superintendent position, the district has been advertising to fill a high school-middle school principal position. They would also hope to get that person hired to perform the duties of school athletic director, which is a position left open by the retirement of teacher Dave Bergum.

The application deadline for the principal position was this week and the district reported receiving more than 20 applications.

The board started the meeting by hearing an update from the boys and girls high school track coaches on the recent state meet. On hand for the occasion were many of the athletes who competed.

North Crawford Boys Track Coach Mike Allbaugh pointed out that sending seven competitors to the state meet were the most participants the school has ever sent. He also said that winning the conference championship again with only 13 team members was a major accomplishment.

The Trojan boys won seven invitational track meets, placed third at the regional and sixth at the sectional.

During the season, triple jumper Kenny Spencer set another school record with a jump of 44’5.5”, while fellow sophomore Skylar Olson has the second longest triple jump in school history with 43’10”.

The team sent junior Jack Polensky in the intermediate hurdles. Allbaugh was excited by the fact he could compete in the state meet this year and even more excited by what he might be able to do next year.

North Crawford Girls Track Coach Ed Heisz told the board that both senior team captains Haley Nelson, a high jumper, and distance runner Willa Dworschack competed for the Trojans in the state track meet. Nelson jumped 5’2” at the state meet and placed sixth. However, he also recalled her performance during the season at a meet in Boscobel where she jumped 5’3” and then 5’4” and was on her way to clearing 5’5”, when she knocked the bar off with her leg.

Heisz told the board that the conference track coaches again selected Nelson as the field athlete of the year for the second year in a row.

The girls team competed for the conference championship, but ended up third this year, according to Heisz.

The board had more good news to hear about on the insurance front and that’s not always the case. Munson told the board that a decision was made to do some insurance shopping this year. The school had gotten their property and casualty insurance through TRICOR in previous years.

After placing some calls, the district found they could be insured to the same levels and at the same deductible through The Insurance Center for $8,000 less per year. Additionally, the school would have a significantly higher dividend on their workmen’s compensation insurance based on their experience. The TRICOR dividend was fixed at seven percent for North Crawford. TIC offered a minimum 15 percent dividend and said under current conditions the dividend could be as high as46 percent depending on the number of claims. The policy cost is around $50,000.

The board did opt to upgrade insurance on computer technology from a ‘data’ policy to a “cyber” policy to offer more protection from hackers and the damage they could cause.

In other business, the North Crawford School Board:

• approved a contract with CESA #7 for curriculum services

• approved purchase of software for financial analytics as recommended by PMA financial consultant Scott Gralla

• upgraded the cooperative food services contract from just mass purchasing to more consulting help

• received thank you notes from Cheyanne Karnopp, Jacob Bransky and Haley Nelson for scholarships they received

• heard an update on the work of guidance counselor Stephanie Colsch, who took 49 students on college visits to Southwest Tech, UW-Richland, UW River Falls, UW-LaCrosse, UW-Platteville, Viterbo, Globe University in LaCrosse and Fort McCoy

• discussed the future of propane-powered buses for the district and more specifically the recently purchased propane-powered bus