Wade Dull was appointed to serve on the North Crawford School Board to fill out the remaining three months of Michael Bedessem’s term.
Bedessem resigned recently because he moved to a residence outside the district.
The board cast paper ballots to vote for either Wade Dull or Jim Dworschack to become Bedessem’s replacement at the beginning of their regular meeting on Thursday, Jan. 16.
Both Dull and Dworschack will appear on the spring ballot along with two other candidates seeking the seats of Bedessem and incumbent board member Aaron Fortney. Fortney will also be on the spring ballot for the two seats, as will Jorn Bansberg.
Present for the vote last week were board members Terry O’Donnell, Tina Volden, Judy Powell, Mary Kuhn and Aaron Fortney. Board member Miguel Morga joined the board just after the vote was taken.
In addition to serving on the school board, Dull serves on the Crawford County Board, representing Soldiers Grove and Clayton Township.
Following the election of Dull as an interim school board member, the board heard a brief report on bids for two climbing walls for the school to be financed by the federal PEP Grant. The board quickly moved and approved the low bid of Everlast Climbing from Mendota, Minnesota.
During her presentation on the climbing walls, North Crawford Pep Grant Coordinator Tarasa Lown told the board that not only was the company the low bidder, they also offered the best product and services in her estimation. The bid included a “traverse climbing wall” that was eight-feet tall and 48-feet long and would be housed in the elementary school gym and a “top rope climbing wall” that was 24-feet tall and 24-feet wide and would be housed in the large gym. The cost the “traverse climbing wall” was $13,163 and the cost of the “top rope climbing wall” was $39,687, according to Lown.
In addition to providing and installing the equipment, the Everlast Climbing Company, as part of the contract, will train and certify both of the school’s phy ed teachers, as well as other school staff and some athletic coaches.
The board also considered and ultimately approved a $100 donation to Passages, a shelter for women victims of domestic abuse, which is located in Richland Center. The donation will be part of a Girl Scout project of North Crawford High School senior Kaylee Salmon. The project seeks to help the shelter assist the women it receives in meeting their basic life needs after they often leave most, if not all, behind en route to the shelter.
Initially, Miguel Morga made a motion to fund the donation at the level of $250, based on the worthwhile nature of the project. However, other board members questioned whether increasing the amount to $250 was prudent in light of the possibility of future charitable requests and setting a precedent as to an amount the board was willing donate.
While school board president Mary Kuhn supported the higher level of donations based on her understanding of the project, board members Judy Powell, Terry O’Donnell and Wade Dull expressed some level of discomfort with increasing the amount from $100 to $250.
Powell simply told the board she was “more comfortable” with the $100 amount.
Dull pointed out that it would be harder “to say no to the next child” seeking a charitable contribution of the higher amount.
While O’Donnell cautioned that if the board set a precedent by approving the higher amount, it would be difficult to “drop it back” for any future requests.
Without a second, Morga’s motion died. O’Donnell made a motion to approve a $100 donation for Passages, as originally envisioned. The motion was seconded by Volden and approved by the board.
In other business, the North Crawford School Board:
• approved a contract with the Prairie du Chien School District to provide special education services for an autistic child accompanied by aide
• selected a board of canvassers to retrieve ballots from polling places in the spring election
• changed the date of parent-teacher conferences to February 20 and 21
• agreed to pursue hiring a staff member to manage the district’s website and relieve elementary principal Brandon Munson of the responsibility
• approved hiring Jim Helgerson as the afternoon van driver for a route to Prairie du Chien