April 16, 2015

Three honored at Cook Lions Club 42nd Charter Celebration

Tuesday of last week was a very special night for the Cook Lions Club. This group of men and women have been very beneficial to the Cook area with their scholarships, roadside pickup, cooking at the Cook Nursing Home, Easter Egg Hunt, coupon book, smelt fry, Leos, securing a $25,000 grant for the Cook Hospital, eyeglasses for needy children, and more.
The Cook Lions Club was started on Sept. 28, 1973 by Virginia Lions Dominic Elioff and Tim Riordan. They started with 25 members and have grown ever since. They are probably one of the most successful Lions Clubs in Minnesota. Lions District 5M-10 Governor Mark Osthus spoke of the importance of a Lions Club in a community and said, "Taking the Lions out of a community, is like someone shutting out the lights."
Three Cook Lions members, two of whom have passed on, were honored that night. Charter members John Musech and Russell Pascuzzi and Lion Elder Metsa were honored for their service. John Musech is the only one still with us, but they were all remembered.
The night was special with the presentation of Julie Gerzin, the Lion in charge of the Cook Hospital branch of Lions.

North Woods Grizzlies' Leadership Conference 'Huge' success

Fifty North Woods student leaders from the Student Council, Leos, National Honor Society, NIIJ Nation, and Peer Helpers gathered at the North Woods School last Friday to participate in the first Leadership Conference. The goal of the conference was for the students to learn a variety of leadership styles, techniques and strategies.
The group broke up into four smaller groups and spent time with each speaker for 20 minutes, then went to the next speaker. They concentrated their efforts on School Improvement and ways to develop strategies to help improve student achievement, attendance and future programming. They also wanted to develop fun learning activities for April and May and next fall that will engage all learners and improve the overall learning culture at the North Woods School.
The group was welcomed by Principal John Metsa. After the conference was over, feedback was received from 28 of 50 students so far. Ninety percent of the students would like to continue the "leadership series seminars."
Principal Metsa reported the event was a "HUGE" success.

EIP to give ISD 2142 students more programs


Students in ISD 2142 will have more choices of educational programs thanks to the Education Innovation Partners (EIP). This group is tied up with 22 school districts and five junior colleges through a Telepresence program, formerly known as ITV (Interactive TV). The ITV program connected schools in ISD 2142 through television so one teacher could teach classes in several schools. This helped the district have educational programs that individual schools couldn't support. The EIP group has now connected several schools and colleges so there will be many additional programs out there.
EIP has secured $355,000 in financing from a Russ Grant and IRRRB will supply $2 million. Joe Silko, executive director from EIP, gave an update on this program to the ISD 2142 board at their regular meeting Monday at 5 p.m. in the South Ridge School. He told the board they shouldn't use the program to cut teachers and, in fact, the program has made some teachers who were part-time, full-time. Their goals are: A.) Organize professional development on research-based instructional best practices, B.) Continue development of Telepresence opportunities, and C.) Hold regional conversations involving school district and college repre-sentatives to explore transformed models of college credit delivery to eligible high school students.
Supt. Steve Sallee gave board members Superintendent Evaluation Forms to fill out. He reported that the administration is starting negotiations with teachers. He said the Minnesota DNR would like to know if the school forests in ISD 2142 are being used or if the DNR should take them back. The DNR wants them to be used.
Two representatives from South Ridge who coach soccer, Ben Ellefson and Gardner Lepp, asked the board's help in fixing up the football practice field for soccer. This is in the works and Sallee noted that the proposed bus garage for South Ridge won't need a concrete floor, so the money is there.
South Ridge Principal Andrew Bernard reported that South Ridge received three Superior Ratings in the Minnesota State High School League Music Contest and one soloist received a perfect, 40, score. Next year the contest will be held at South Ridge.
The art department held the MSHSL Art Contest.
The Cook Area Credit Union is opening their branch, "The Jungle," in South Ridge on April 29.
Northeast Range and Cherry schools each received $900 in donations, South Ridge $4,152, and North Woods $230.
The revised 2014-2015 budget was approved. The General Fund balance is now $2,861,159 compared to $1,983,348 as of June 30, 2013.
The Northeast Range School had $4,990.78 approved in purchases for capital items such as $2,069.28 for 12 chairs for the board room, $800 for landscaping materials, $650.25 for 17 music stands for the band, and $658.21 for shapes for die cut machine.
A Memorandum of Understanding between ISD 2142 and the Custodians was approved dealing with retirement benefits.
The board next approved the expulsion of a student, the second this year. The student's parents or natural guardians approved this and the student will be given an alternate educational service.
The annual placing of Title I teachers on ULA was approved, with Gary Rantala voting against it. ECFE teacher Sheri Carlson had 0.2 FTE put on ULA and Special Ed. teacher Kathleen Meier 0.5 FTE.
North Woods paraprofessionals Barbara Novak and Susan Thomas were recalled.
Deb Keating was hired as a van driver for North Woods, Stephanie Miller at South Ridge and Sherlyn Eilefson for South Ridge.
Nicholas Stevenson was hired as assistant baseball coach for Cherry.
The meeting adjourned at 6:21 p.m.

Volunteers Needed!

For the 2015 Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener being held on Lake Vermilion May 7-10. It has been 10 years since Vermilion has hosted this event and we are very excited to see it return. The Lake Vermilion Resort Association will be hosting the event at Fortune Bay.
There are many guests who will be coming from around the state to experience Opener on Vermilion. We are looking for volunteers to help us put on this exciting event. Help is needed for everything from registration, to activities, the community picnic, and more. You do not have to participate in the whole event, if you can only help during certain times or activities that is perfectly fine. You can find the volunteer form at www.lakevermilionresorts.com/volunteer or call our volunteer chair, Rock Gillson, at 218-666-5453.


Pick up this week's paper for more stories and pictures...

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Greenwood Township residents to 'clean up'

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