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Doetsch to leave; teachers honor two

Deb Sandvig and Jolene Cornell were voted by Blackduck Staff as Teacher of the Year and Friend of Education.

Blackduck will spend an additional $77,541 for extracurricular coaching staff in the 2011-2012 school year.

At its regular meeting, members of the Blackduck School Board also learned of the selection of Deb Sandvig as Teacher of the Year and Jolene Cornell as Friend of Education. The choices were made by other teachers and drew enthusiastic support from school administrators.

Topping these actions was the announcement by Blackduck School Superintendent Bob Doetsch that he will retire after one more year heading the district schools.

"June 30, 2012 will be my last day," Doetsch said.

He has been superintendent since July, 1998 and this past year was honored as the region's Administrator of the Year.

"We've put a great team together here," Doetsch said and as he started to name others interrupted himself to say, "No -- I don't want to list people because I don't want to forget anyone -- they're all great. It's just that there comes a time to leave and it's time."

Noting he'll be 60 this fall, he gave no indication of any future plans beyond retirement.

Sandvig, who was selected for the Teacher of the Year honor, came to Blackduck as a substitute and is in her fourth year here. High School Principal Wendy Templin called her work with junior high students "ahead of the curve."

"Deb is not just the cheer leaders advisor," Templin said, "she's a cheer leader for the whole school." Templin went on to describe Sandvig as "the real deal" and truly "top of the list" as a teacher and a person.

Cornell drew similar praise from Elementary School Administrator Lorraine Warden. She said Cornell, who has three youngsters in elementary grades, is "always creative in finding ways to help." She volunteers to help with class outings, brings along an extra jacket in case someone needs it, "and does things like that all the time."

Cornell, as she customarily is, was at the board meeting Monday because she wants to know what's going on. Warden said she offered thanks to Cornell for what she does to help out and Cornell demurred, instead offering thanks to Warden for her part in making Blackduck such a good school.

The board meeting opened with congratulations to the boy's baseball team for winning the sub-section title this year, to coach Rick Olhava who was chosen Conference baseball coach of the year, to Nick Liapis for making the state golf playoffs and to the baseball, softball, track and golf teams for "giving their fans such a good season."

In scheduled action, the board approved the nearly $80,000 for coaching help next year. Most of the payments for extra work will be for sports activities, but a smaller amount will go toward scholastic and related items including speech, band, National Honor Society and Knowledge Bowl participation.

Business manager Dave Decker gave a quick review of the preliminary budget for the next year, but accompanied it with a cautionary warning. "We don't know what the state budget is going to look like," he said, "and whatever the budget looks like, we don't know how much the state aid will amount to or when we'll get it. This is just a preliminary guess at what will happen."

The board agreed and moved on to approve a Policy for Financial Stability, as recommended by the district's auditing firm.

After completing the rest of the agenda, it went into executive session to review negotiation issues requested by bus drivers. No actions were announced.