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Helmut Schmidt, Published October 14 2013

West Fargo delays decision on naming elementary school under construction

WEST FARGO – The School With No Name will stay that way for a little longer.

West Fargo School Board members found themselves without a consensus Monday after debating names for the newest elementary school, now going up at 3700 54th St. S. in a Fargo section of the district.

Sixteen names were chosen as finalists by board members, then ranked, with the results shared at the meeting.

The top three choices, Independence, Justice and Dakota, would normally yield the school’s name. In the board’s discussion, though, problems with the top two names – Independence sounded too much like Independent, as in Minnesota’s Independent School Districts, and Justice had a connotation of punishment and reward – had some board members calling for a re-ranking.

They’ll now take the top nine names, which also include Orion, Prairie Rose, Allegiance, David Flowers, Patriot and Courage, and re-rank them. Then they’ll choose the school’s name from the top three, board President Kay Kiefer said.

In other business, the board:

E Accepted the resignation of longtime board member Angela Korsmo.

Korsmo, who retired last year, now spends winters in Florida. She said she believes the seat should be held by someone who can attend more meetings year-round.

Her resignation is effective Nov. 1.

People interested in applying to be appointed to the position until the June election should send a letter of application and a resume to Superintendent David Flowers by 4:30 p.m. Oct. 31.

The letters should include why the applicant is interested in serving on the board of education, what qualities qualify the applicant for the board and what the applicant sees as the important work of the board in the future.

The board will meet as a committee of the whole to screen the applicants. It will meet a second time to interview the finalists and seek a consensus.

The board’s goal is to choose a replacement for Korsmo at the Nov. 12 board meeting.

The board also:

E Approved the creation of a committee to do long-range facility planning and to study elementary boundaries across the district, addressing changes in demographics and the addition of a 10th elementary school.

E Approved salaries for administrative and classified workers.

Salaries and benefits for classified staff, which include such positions as bus drivers, custodians, mechanics, administrative assistants, paraprofessionals, food service workers and others, will increase 4.94 percent for the 2013-14 school year and 4.92 percent for the 2014-15 school year, human resources director Robin Hill said.

Salaries and benefits for administrative staff, which includes the business manager and section directors, principals and their assistants, and other senior coordinators and specialists, will increase 3.05 percent in 2013-14 and 6.27 percent in 2014-15, Hill said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583