May 26, 2016
SD 2142 school board thanks retiring principal John Metsa for his years of service
by Robin Fisher
The ISD 2142 Regular School Board meeting was held Monday, May 23, at 5 p.m. at the North Woods School. Some members were absent, but Rantala, Glowaski, Swanson, Zupetz, Sallee, and Sopp were present; enough for the quorum needed for voting.
Superintendent Steve Sallee was pleased to report that the high school seniors he met with felt very safe and supported in our school environment. The students felt connected to school and were happy with the college level courses. There were comments indicating that more college level classes would be welcome. A policy committee meeting will be held next Thursday. Sallee said a very important special meeting will be held at the District Office on Tuesday, June 14, also at 5 p.m. "A short meeting to cover a few things."
Next on the agenda the North Woods School report was given by Principal John Metsa. He showed a video of the band trip. He distributed a list of the current programs and activities. Baseball and softball are under way at present with a lot of excitement coming up for the very competitive finals. Upcoming events include a Lake Country Power presentation about electricity at 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 24. Also a science program called STEAM for grades K-6 slated for Thursday, May 26, at 1:15 p.m. Mr. Metsa is very proud of his school and its students.
Two North Woods teachers spoke next. Mr. Black is the shop teacher and had three requests for the board. The Cook PTO is willing to purchase materials for picnic tables and a shelter to be located at the elementary end of the building. The shop students will do the construction. He just needs the proper permits and permission. The second request is for an ongoing project: construction of a bridge at the School Forest. He also needed the proper permits to go ahead with a garage (storage unit) just north of the band room. The storage space is much needed. Shop students eagerly volunteered to do this project. The board will make sure these projects have the proper permits and inspections.
Art teacher Rachel Latuff spoke about her first two amazing years at North Woods School. She expressed much gratitude for the school and the whole Iron Range which stood behind her in the Miss Minnesota and Miss America pageants. With her year as Miss Minnesota, she had numerous opportunities to advocate for teachers and present her anti-bullying messages. She said the North Woods students "jumped on board" to help make the anti-bullying video which was shown to many Minnesota schools (K-12). The kids got on-board with the "blue-pinky promise campaign" to be more aware of bullying and try to stop it. Rachel did thousands of hours of community service and spoke of the big success of the Empty Bowls fundraiser; $5,000 was raised for the food shelf in Cook! Miss Latuff will lose her title of Miss Minnesota in June when the torch is passed on to another young woman. She will be escorted to the pageant by retiring principal John Metsa.
Many revised policies were approved by the board. A revised job description for the head janitor position was approved. They also approved the dissolution of the MSHSL Cooperative Sponsorship. They reluctantly accepted the resignation of Scott Hall, principal of the Cherry School, effective June 30. The board also accepted the resignations of two teachers, Kali Anderson at the NE Range School and Alicia Skoog at the South Ridge School for the end of this school year. A teaching contract was not renewed for Ms. Christina Benson.
The following teachers will be recognized as Tenured Teachers starting with next school year: Emily Thompson and Kristen Kenjalo of Cherry School, Nathan Shulstad, Megan Hochstein, Tyler Olin, and Jeremy Digiovanni, all of the South Ridge School.
The board also recognized probationary teachers whose contracts will continue for 2016-2017 year. These include Marie Freitas, Rachel Johnson, Lisa Repensky, Ashley Gilbert, Alyssa Whitesell, Jordan Christianson and Mary Fleetwood of the Cherry School. Jennifer Kaufenberg, Crystal Poppler, Katherine Mickle, Ryan Denzer-Johnson, Aaron Donais, Jodi Rodgers-Reichensperger, and Beth Denzer-Johnson of the NE Range School. North Woods School teachers include Rachel Latuff, Amanda Babich and Amy Cherrywell. South Ridge teachers are Samantha Harker, Katherine Kebbekus and Sarah Joyal and including Lorie Udovich, ECFE parent educator for Cherry and North Woods.
Anita Swanson was hired as a cook aide at North Woods School, four hours per day for the remainder of the school year. The board approved the layoff of support staff Natalie Graves and Carl Meyer of North Woods School.
Each member of the school board personally thanked retiring principal John Metsa for his years of service at North Woods School.
Dr. Carrie (Tibbetts) Sell returns to Cook, starts chiropractic practice
Many in Cook will remember Carrie (Tibbetts) Sell from her days of racing up and down the court for the Lady Gophers back in the early 2000s. She graduated from Cook in 2004, but while there, besides basketball, she also competed in track, cross country, was on the Knowledge Bowl team and in the Math League.
Carrie has traveled much since then and has returned to Cook with her husband, William, who is involved in a Washington, D.C., company in IT.
Carrie went on to Wartburg College in Iowa where she studied Spanish among other things. She then went to the Massage Therapy School in Bloomington, Minn., where she graduated in 2010.
Carrie said she suffered from headaches and went to a chiropractor who cured her of them. That made her want to go into chiropractic so she went to Hayward, Calif., where she graduated from the Chiropractic College in 2014. She said she has always been interested in health-related careers and saw the benefits from a chiropractor.
She now has an office in the DreamWeavers building where she is taking patients starting May 31. Her hours are Monday 9 to noon and 2 to 6, Tuesday and Wednesday 9 to noon, and Thursday 9 to noon and 2 to 6. Her telephone number is 1-218-966-1529.
Carrie said she just wanted to come back home as to why she came back to Cook. Her family is here, including mom and dad, Bill and Brenda Tibbetts, and many of her friends.
Carrie and William Sell are making their home on Lake Vermilion and plan to become a part of the Cook business and social community.
Diane Brunner, Cook's version of the "Energizer Bunny," has rightfully been selected by the Cook Timber Days Committee as the Grand Marshal of the 2016 Timber Days Parade. Diane is well-known around Cook, especially if there are benefits being held for people in need, cooking that is needed done at the VFW, animals that need help, or just plain helping others.
Diane, a 1977 graduate of Cook High School, is married to Alan Brunner and they have twins, Jimmy and Kaylee.
Diane, when she isn't busy volunteering for many benefits and projects, also takes care of pets. She grooms them and babies them. There has never been a pet that Diane didn't love.
Diane is a member of the Cook Lions Club, the Haunted House coordinator, Friends of the Parks, National Turkey Federation, and she is employed at the North Woods School in Indian Education Student Support Services. She has a great rapport with the students at the school and the faculty.
Timber Days is still going and growing thanks to Diane and others like her who have worked tirelessly for this great community celebration.
Tammy Palmer, who sent in a nomination for Diane, said that she "displays an array of characteristics, is kind, caring, hard working, puts others before herself and strives to bring out the best in every individual."
It is fitting and right that Diane Brunner is the 2016 Timber Days Grand Marshal.
On Friday, May 20, North Star Credit Union, a leader in the community, held its 2016 Annual Meeting at the new Recreation Center in Cook. The new location and BBQ style theme attracted nearly 200 members and guests of all ages who gathered to highlight the previous year and celebrate the cooperative spirit.
CEO Rich Crettol stated, "I am grateful to the families and individuals who shared their Friday evening with us. It is because of our engaged members that our credit union can continue to grow."
2015 was another strong year for the credit union as they continue to increase their assets, pay more dividends to members, and maintain competitive loan rates. They grew by nearly 20 percent, changed their name to better reflect their membership base, remodeled their administrative building, and opened the second student-led branch at the South Ridge School.
During the meeting, Crettol recognized members for their loyalty and commitment to helping North Star Credit Union remain the backbone for members striving to meet their financial goals. He noted the credit union's partnership with Lutheran Social Services; all members are eligible for free financial counseling tailored to their unique needs. Whether you want to gain control of your financial wellness or conquer your debt, North Star Credit Union is there for you.
North Star Credit Union in Cook is a state-chartered credit union serving anyone who receives electric power from Lake Country Power, has a relative who has an existing account with North Star Credit Union, and anyone who lives, works, volunteers, worships, or attends school in District 2142. They also welcome businesses that would like to offer membership as an employee benefit at no cost through their Select Employer Group Program. North Star Credit Union is committed to youth financial literacy and is proud to have two out of the 10 student-led credit unions in Minnesota. A not-for-profit, North Star Credit Union is a full-service financial institution offering banking services, loans, mortgages, and investments for consumers throughout northern Minnesota.
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