School District 166 held its April meeting on Thursday, April 21. WTIP contacted Superintendent Chris Lindholm after this meeting to find out more about the board’s activities.

Lindholm shared news of some resignations and new hires. School dropout was a long-term substitute and paraprofessional. Amanda Hand, a longtime preschool and then elementary school teacher, also quit at the end of the school year. The board accepted Hand’s resignation and wished her luck in a new role she accepted elsewhere.

The school board approved the hiring of four new teachers, Michael Dochterman, social studies; Ann Schultz, physical education; Erica Kirsch, special education, and Mariprovi Maldonado, preschool teacher.

The school board also approved the hiring of Devon Mass as a full-time janitor, Jennifer DeRosier as a part-time paraprofessional and Dennis Burton as a full-time bus driver. Superintendent Lindholm said the school still needed a full-time bus driver and added that there was still a need for replacement drivers.

Lindholm also spoke to WTIP about the tough winter for school bus drivers, with all the ice and snow. He praised the drivers for doing their best and keeping the students safe and getting them to school.

Lindholm also shares some thoughts on the school district‘s “strategic roadmap,” or strategic plan. The board had several work sessions to develop the strategic plan. There are several drafts and the board was almost ready to adopt the strategic plan, however, Lindholm asked them to wait another month. He said he had the honor of attending the Minnesota Indian Education Conference with Grand Portage Director of Education Maria Burnett and said he learned a lot. Lindholm said he would like to make sure the school district honors the contribution of the Grand Portage community.

Anyone wishing to see the Strategic Planning process, the work done so far can be viewed on the ISD 166 website. The Strategic Planning link includes the results of the October 2021 community survey, staff feedback on ‘desired daily experience’ for students and three drafts of the strategic plan.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence chats with Superintendent Lindholm about all this and more. Listen to their conversation below.