Marshall FFA members present at school board meeting

MARSHALL – A handful of Marshall FFA members not only had the opportunity to watch the Marshall School Board process in action, the group also provided an intellectual and entertaining demonstration on parliamentary procedure at the district’s regular board meeting Tuesday evening.

The novice team, which includes Kayla Murphy, Marisa Konjura, Monica Timmerman, Eli Welu and Troy Timmerman, is one of roughly 30 that will be competing at the state level after qualifying recently at regionals. That number could double yet since competitions are still taking place.

Beginning with the pounding of a gavel, the team participated in a mock meeting. One of the motions passed was to invite the board members to the state convention competition. The next item of business, led by team president Murphy, was to have the board members teach them how to properly swing dance. Plenty of amendments were made to the motion, which eventually passed.

FFA advisers Jason Kaare, Sarah Jacobs and Jon Schreurs were also in attendance and shared the ag department’s vision for the future.

“We put together a packet about what we’ve been doing in Marshall the last few years,” Kaare said. “There’s a section about what FFA members need to know and there’s also ag data in there. FFA is year-round, so there’s everything from trap-shooting to balance sheets for projects to competitions.”

Kaare noted that the FFA members also raise chickens twice a year and are able to be part of the hatching through butchering process. There’s also solar car racing and many other activities, he said.

In addition to the development of a greenhouse, Kaare said the ag department would like to add some middle school classes at some point.

“We’d be able to reach students sooner, and that will benefit them more,” Kaare said. “And we’d like to have a greenhouse in place. Those are our five-year goals.”

Students who qualify for state will compete from April 27-29 on the University of Minnesota campus.

Marshall Middle School teacher Theresa McCoy also gave a presentation, highlighting the positive things a TIGERSS (Technology Integration Generating Education and Real Student Success) grant has done for students in the past year. She began a coding program at the middle school level.

“Theresa’s extremely savvy with technology,” Marshall Superintendent Klint Willert said. “Our district is fortunate to have her.”

McCoy coordinates “Game It, Junior,” one time a week for students, who are learning to collaborate and problem-solve as they create the games themselves.

“They’re really excited about it,” McCoy said.

The board also heard a brief update about the space concerns at West Side. While the district is still working on long-terms plans, short-term plans were introduced to board members.

“We’ve put together a PowerPoint to address space concerns,” Willert said. “We’ve been working hard since July to address needs. It’s a short-term plan to help us get through two or three years.”

The objective is to identify space for two additional classrooms over the next two years, beginning with a third-grade classroom for 2014-15 and a fourth-grade classroom the following year. There are also special education and Title I space concerns.

“We’re going to be taking the library space and also moving the computer lab,” Willert said. “We also plan to move the office space to the staff workroom. It’s certainly not ideal, but it will address some of the short-term needs that we have as a district.”

Deanna Suby, physical education teacher at West Side, was recognized in the Tiger Spotlight for her effort to organize a Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser this past month. More than $5,000 was raised for the American Heart Association. In addition, students learned about heart health in the process.

“You won’t find a more energetic teacher,” Willert said. “Come visit her classroom. It’s amazing.”

Marshall Middle School fifth-grader Michaela Bosveld was also recognized, for earning fourth place recently in the Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative’s Regional Spelling Bee in Redwood Falls. After 15 rounds, Bosveld was able to capture fourth place, earning the right to advance to the Multi-Region State Spelling Bee on Feb. 25 in Fergus Falls.

“Michaela was only one of two fifth-graders in the (fifth- through eighth-grade) competition,” Willert said. “We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

All six action items were approved, including a tuition agreement with Lynd Public School. Business director Bruce Lamprecht noted that other than the rates, there was only one change made.

“We’re going to a five-year agreement instead of a three-year one,” he said. “Both parties were in favor of that.”