Monson officially a Tiger in Marshall

MARSHALL – Scott Monson is officially the new superintendent at Marshall Public Schools, having had his contract approved by the MPS board at its regular board meeting Monday at Marshall Middle School.

Though Monson began his duties two weeks ago, the meeting marked his first official day of business. Monson, who said he is excited to be part of the MPS education system, succeeds Klint Willert, who served District 413 for 10 years.

“It’s been a great few weeks,” Monson said. “The people have been awesome, very helpful, very informative, and the community has been very supportive and welcoming. I’ve really appreciated just getting to know everybody.”

The three-year contract includes a base salary of $135,000 for 2014-15 with 2.5 percent increases for the ensuing two years. During the term of the contract, Monson is eligible for an incentive bonus based on the attainment of mutually-agreed upon goals and objectives as determined by the board. Monson is also eligible for up to a $3,000 lump sum payment for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years for stretch goal performance goals. He will undergo a review by the board by Oct. 1 of each contractual year.

Monson shared an entry plan with board members, highlighting his transition into the position.

“I still have a little bit of work left to do on it to customize it to Marshall, but I’m excited about some of the things I’ve already done,” he said. “It’s a 100-day plan and it’s really focused on relationships, getting to know policies, procedures and programs, getting involved and familiar with the community and getting up to speed as much as possible.”

Monson is starting to get familiar with a variety of district plans, including the facilities study, teacher evaluation and the mandated bullying policy.

From what he’s learned so far, Monson also said he sees mutual benefits regarding the new model for teacher evaluations.

“Our principals and those who will be evaluating teachers this year are working hard at a new training program that’s online called Teachscape,” he said. “They have a little more time left before they start doing formal observations with the change in law and teacher observation.”

The board approved student handbooks, including individual ones for each MPS building. One of the changes from last year involved an updated bullying policy since the Safe and Supportive Schools Act was passed during the recent Legislative session.

“This policy is a red-line version of the model policy from the Minnesota School Board Association that brings districts into compliance with all of the requirements of the Safe and Supportive Schools Act,” Monson said.

The board also approved the recommendation to authorize administration to enter into an agreement with US Bank Corp Governmental Leasing and Finance for the purchase of technology equipment and devices as part of the district’s Technology and Personal Learning Device Implementation Plan. US Bank Corp was among five lending institutions that submitted proposals for the technology investment.

Two new student school board representatives were at their first official board meeting.

The board welcomed Sara Antony and Malak Shahin aboard. Both reps are seniors-to-be at Marshall High School and will take part in meetings through June 2014.

“I really enjoy staying busy,” Antony said. “I love working hard and challenging myself in my academics.”

Antony is involved in hockey, track, speech, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spirit Wall Committee, Yellow Ribbon, Link Crew, Middle School I.C.U. and National Honors Society.

Shahin is also very involved in the school and community. She participates in marching band, speech, NHS and Business Professionals of America.

“As far as my interests go, I really love learning new things and reading,” Shahin said. “I’m very excited and grateful to have this opportunity to represent the school alongside Sara at the school board meetings.”

The Tiger Spotlight was awarded to coaches and student participants of spring activities who competed at the state or national level, including Marshall High School boys golfers (Matt Bennett, Brent Haukom, Alex Buysse, Jacob Baker, Matt Christianson and Jon Wyffels), girls golfers (Hanna Peterson and Jessica Blanchard), girls tracksters (Sydney Griffin, Claire Boersma, Jackie Turner, Rose Anderson, Nichole Sample, Jenna Christianson and Sydney Blomme) for state competition and speech members (Ariel Smith, Lestat Clemmer, Jessica Oaxaca, Danny West, Shahin, Blythe Bell, Tom Wyatt-Yerka, Cassie Pieschke and Michael Gutman) for national competition this spring.