Minot Public Schools gets new administrators

Two new administrators have been hired in the Minot Public School District. The school board approved the hiring of David McQueen as the new assistant principal at Jim Hill Middle School. McQueen is the current principal at Max and had previously taught at Parshall. The former assistant principal was Mike Arlien, who was chosen as the new head principal last month. Current principal Cindy Mau retired after this school year.

The board also approved the hiring of Renae Rudoph as a new elementary assistant principal, who will split her time between the district’s largest elementaries. The district already has one elementary assistant principal who works at both Dakota and Washington elementaries. The second assistant principal will likely work between Longfellow, Lewis and Clark and Edison elementaries, all schools that have enrollments that top 400 students. The board approved the additional position last month due to the increased enrollment and the heavier workload in the school district.

Also at Thursday’s school board meeting, the board gave approval for the Minot Head Start Program to end its services in the Lignite School District.

Minot Head Start Director Karen Knowles said that the Burke Central School District needs the additional classroom space for its students. Higher incomes also mean that fewer children in that area are qualifying for Head Start programs. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the need for services has become any less, but the federal government income guidelines for services have not changed even though the cost of living has increased in the area along with wages, said Superintendent Mark Vollmer. Knowles said there are no other suitable locations in the small town for a Head Start Program. The Head Start Program had also served the special needs preschool students in Lignite, said Knowles. She said she believes that Burke Central will begin serving those students through home drop-ins. The Minot Head Start also serves children at Minot Air Force Base and in Mohall as well as at in Minot. In addition, Knowles asked the district to drop the number of children the Head Start programs from 270 to 260, though the Head Start budget will not decrease.

The board also heard a report on preliminary plans for new additions at Edison and Perkett elementaries from JLG Architects. Architects will be meeting with different entities to discuss plans and to make sure that the project stays within budget. Voters approved a $39.5 million bond issue on April 8 that will fund the additions as well as construction of a new elementary school in southeast Minot and safety and security measures at all the schools.

The board also approved the sale of $9.945 million in building bonds at an interest rate of 3.2555 percent. Wells Fargo had the successful bid. The remainder of the bonds will be sold in January to ensure a better interest rate. The district also received a $20 million low interest loan from the state.

Vollmer said there is ongoing growth in the school district.