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Blackduck School Board approves trap shooting team

Blackduck School Board officials passed an item on July 15 to allow the Blackduck Community Education Program to create a youth trap shooting team organized by community facilitator, Ryan Grow.

The team would meet Monday nights at the Kelliher Sportsmans' Club and is open to students grades 6 through 12. It will not be organized through the school's athletic program because, according to Grow, there isn't enough funding left in the athletic budget to support the shooting team or a coach.

The team will be organized under the rules and guidelines of the Minnesota State Clay Target League, which has reported no problems or incidents with its individual programs since its founding in 2008, said Grow.

"I talked around with area districts who are currently involved with that league and the schools are very happy with it," he said. "There is community support behind it."

Because it would be part of the community education program, the district would not provide transportation to and from the sportsmans club, but would instead rely on parents and carpool due to the liability issues with firearms and weaponry on school grounds.

Grow stated that he has spoken with Timberline Sport 'N' Convenience who, along with the police department, would provide a secure and locked location for students to store their firearms during the school day until they leave for Kelliher.

Grow also informed the Board that the team would teach firearm safety in addition to gun-bearing ethics and treatment.

"I did go around to a few classrooms when school was in session the last few month and a half and the student interest is just phenomenal right now for it," Grow said. "The nice thing about it is that it's open from sixth graders all the way up to seniors. It's co-ed and I think it's a great opportunity for a lot of our school kids here at Blackduck schools and within the community being that this is a big hunting community."

Coach tenders resignation

Blackduck Schools' activities director, Andra Vaughn tendered her resignation recently as the varsity volleyball coach for Blackduck High School.

Vaughn has been coaching the team since (what year?) and has helped her team to win (what achievements?).

Her letter stated, "It has been a pleasure to coach varsity softball and carry on the rich tradition that was established by coaches before me." Her letter goes on to state that a reason for stepping down is due to some of the parent politics and changing environment of high school sports.

The School Board vocalized their sadness in seeing Vaughn step down, but accepted her resignation.

("Goodbye quote by Vaughn.")

(Hiring information)

Board continues new vendor

After two months of unsatisfactory service by Pan-O-Gold Baking Company, Independent School District 32 hired Bimbo Bakeries last year in order to not only get the quantity of bread needed, but to also get it on time.

"We were running short because of Bemidji schools and Bemidji is a bigger customer so they got priority over us," Board Chairwoman Cynthia Nord said. "Sometimes, we didn't get bread till after lunch had started."

In the instances that the bread arrived late, the Blackduck schools were forced to serve day-old bread and often ran out before all students could be served.

"We switched after two months," Superintendent Wally Schoeb said. "Pan of gold service was so terrible. But then we switched to bimbo and they provided us with good service."

The switch did cause an increase in price, but the Board feels that the price increase is minimal and worth the increase in quality of service.

Bimbo Bakeries is a nationwide baking company that owns smaller well-known brands such as Sara Lee, Thomas, Brownberry and Ball Park buns. Bimbo currently maintains the federal standard on whole grains and nutrition.

Swimming lessons a hit

Over 20 students signed up for swimming lessons provided through Blackduck Community Education this summer. Classes took place at the AmericInn pool and provided lessons to students in levels one through four.

"Parents were saying that they were happy with swimming lessons being back in town because they didn't have to wait to sign up in Bemidji and they wanted the convenience of having it in town," community facilitator and lesson organizer, Ryan Grow said. "Talking with the kids there, they really liked it. The parents also said that the instructor was really good with the kids."

With recent budget cuts to the community education program, many parents were worried that swimming lessons wouldn't happen this summer. But with the establishment of the community facilitator position, Grow was able to hold onto the opportunity.

"We are contemplating doing (another) one this winter, but it depends on the instructor's schedule," Grow said. "We just have to get a feel for the numbers."

The instructor, Theora Snyder, was certified by the Red Cross and taught 30-minute lessons on June 10-13 and June 17 and 18.

Because the school district does not have a pool of its own, the local AmericInn Hotel closed down its heated, indoor pool to all other users during the lessons for a nominal fee, giving swim students full reign of the water.

"Every year in the month of june there are swimming lessons and we like to provide for the community," Raj Patel, AmericInn hotel manager said. "It is convenient for (Blackduck). We like to help out the community in any way."

"It's really nice for the AmericInn to host our swimming lessons there," Grow said. "I think with the facilitator position, I was able to link the business opportunity with the school and that relationship is key."

"It is convenient for (Blackduck). We like to help out the community in any way," Raj Patel, AmericInn hotel manager said.