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Published April 14 2010

West Fargo School District approves 19 hires for next fall

The West Fargo School District will hire a “lean” number of new employees next fall.

The School Board on Tuesday approved hiring 19 new staff for next fall – far fewer than the 41 requested districtwide.

It’s a “lean” but “doable” request, Superintendent Dana Diesel Wallace said.

If they were to approve any more, she added, the district would have to make cuts elsewhere.

“I know this is bare bones,” board President Tom Gentzkow said, adding later: “This is what we feel is required to educate kids next year.”

Among the new positions are a high school assistant principal and three STEM Center teachers. Not among those approved was a communications officer.

The district was looking to hire someone to essentially oversee the district’s communication plan as well as internal and external communication.

The new position, which Human Resources Director Robin Hill said would’ve started as soon as July 1, would’ve come with a salary of $48,750 the first year – for a 30-hour a week position – and $65,000 the second year for a full-time position.

However, board members decided not to approve the new hire, suggesting that the administration wait at least until a new superintendent is in place in July.

“I like the idea of it,” board member Patti Stedman said. “I’m not sure I think the timing is right.”

Also Tuesday, board members discussed plans to trademark and license a high school logo.

As of now, there are several versions of the Packer bull on athletic gear and high school materials.

“We just don’t have a standard, one identity logo,” Activities Director Curt Jones said.

He and marketing teacher Jenna Skaff said they don’t want to get rid of the most commonly used image or necessarily create a new one, but rather have students and the community decide on one logo to trademark.

“If that’s the one our students want, then that’s the one we’ll have,” Jones said of the most commonly used Packer logo.

They plan now to get high school student input on the logos.

Also Tuesday, Business Manager Joe Sykora resigned after being in the district for about two years. Gentzkow said Sykora resigned to look for other professional opportunities. His last day in the district is June 30.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515