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Cass Lake-Bena school board reduces activities director position to half-time

Mike Hanson

CASS LAKE -- In order to trim the overall budget, the Cass Lake-Bena school board at its meeting on Wednesday decided to reduce the activities director's position from full-time status to half-time, effective July 1.

"It was a very difficult decision to make," said CL-B school board member Rick Haaland, adding that the official vote as 4-2 to reduce the status. "The budget cuts prompted the decision. We're going to be way in the hole next year and we need to try to trim the fat where we can.

"It was a necessary evil. 'Evil' is a good word for it (what the school board had to do)," Haaland added.

Mike Hanson is the current activities director at Cass Lake-Bena and he has held that post for 10 years. Hanson has been employed in various capacities at the school since 1990.

"I started out working in attendance intervention and have been the assistant football coach, the head football coach, the head baseball coach and the head wrestling coach," Hanson said.

"It (the school board's decision) shocked me," Hanson said. "I saw it on their recommendations (prior to the school board meeting) but I didn't realize it was going to happen. It's because of a budget cut and I understand budget cuts. But I hope we can get things worked out because my hope is to stay at Cass Lake-Bena."

Hanson, who was raised in Cass Lake, has a unique rapport with the Cass Lake-Bena students and the community. He also is the biggest booster the community, the school and the student body will ever find.

"I'm pretty pro Cass Lake-Bena," Hanson said, "and in a small community like this the high school is the hub. And we have one of the nicer schools in the area.

"An organized Cass Lake-Bena kid is a busy Cass Lake-Bena kid," Hanson continued. "I don't care what they kid is doing as long as he or she is doing something and I've always tried to help organize things for the kids to do. When the kids are not organized they are not busy and that's when trouble can happen."

Haaland said the school board will probably advertise to fill the revamped position.

"In order to do it right, we'll have to advertise for it," he said. "I believe that's the procedure we will have to follow to follow policy.

"It is very sad that we had to go this route but, hopefully, it will open the door for something else bigger and better," Haaland added.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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