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BIG STONE COUNTY VETERANS SERVICE OFFICER DAN MEYER had a booth at this year’s Sports and Leisure Show last weekend visiting with veterans and their families and handing out information that would benefit veterans in Big Stone County. Attendance was great during this year’s show.

Seven BPA students advance to Nationals in Anaheim, CA

Twenty-six Ortonville Business Professionals of America (BPA) students along with their advisors, Kim Johnson and Julie Kunde attended the State BPA conference in Minneapolis on March 12-14.  Students who qualified at the Region 8 level and competed at State were: John Anderson, Jackson Athey, Clarissa Blake, Edann Cloos, Elijah Cloos, Julie Drobny, Jerika Eppel, Niki Essington, Mikala Gimmestad, Jamie Gulley, Hope Hasslen, Rachel Hoernemann, Jacob Maatz, Kelsey Mulder, Gina Nelsen, Justin Radermacher, Stephanie Rausch, Kayla Sherod, Mackenzie Spaulding, Hannah Strei, Courtney Strobel, Edgardo Strobel, Riley Thompson, Mikhail Thomson, Nate Treinen and Andrew Weber.

Students competed on Thursday and Friday and attended the Opening General session that was held on Thursday night. Jerika Eppel, State Secretary, helped preside over the session. Torch awards were presented at the ceremony. Jerika Eppel was called to the stage to receive her earned Statesman Torch Award. Business Professionals of America's Torch Awards Program frames and guides a BPA member's leadership and service to their chapter and community. Students complete activities in the seven Torch categories--Leadership; Service; Cooperation; Knowledge; Friendship; Love, Hope, Faith; and Patriotism--then log their activities in a Torch Resume.

The students continued competing in their events on Friday and enjoyed the hypnotist as entertainment.

The Grand Awards Ceremony was held on Saturday morning. The following Ortonville students were finalists in their events: Jerika Eppel, Jackson Athey, John Anderson, Clarissa Blake, Edann Cloos, Niki Essington, Mikala Gimmestad, Hope Hasslen, Rachel Hoernemann, Jacob Maatz, Kelsey Mulder, Gina Nelsen, Justin Radermacher, Stephanie Rausch, Mackenzie Spaulding, Hannah Strei, Courtney Strobel, Edgardo Strobel, Riley Thompson, Mikhail Thomson, and Nate Trienen.

The following students are National qualifiers:  Jerika Eppel, Jackson Athey, Mikhail Thomson, Hannah Strei, Edann Cloos, Rachel Hoernemann and Stephanie Rausch.  The 2015 National Conference is May 6-10 in Anaheim CA. 

Fruchi, a subsidiary of Schwans, Inc. sponsored a $4,000 scholarship contest this year.  Jerika Eppel, Andrew Weber and Jackson Athey entered the event. They devised a marketing promotion and mobile application for the event and were awarded first place.  Jerika Eppel also received the 2015 Joan Sprengler Scholarship ($500). 

Ortonville School to start before Labor Day in 2015-16

The Ortonville School Board approved starting the 2015-16 school year a week before Labor Day at their monthly meeting on Monday, March 16.

The first day of school will be on Aug. 31. Two make up days would be added into the school year with the first make up day on Feb. 12 and the second on March 28. The last student day would be on May 26 with graduation set for May 29. Board members felt that students are ready to head back to school then and with the fall sports season underway, it would be beneficial.

The Board accepted the resignation of Trojan Heach Football Coach Ricky Bolin. Bolin has served as head coach for the past three years. They will begin the search for a new coach immediately.

Board members approved the proposed schedule that High School Counselor Kim Quast, Activities Director/Dean of Students Jacob Foslien and Principal Joel Stattelman have compiled.

With the leave of absence for Mr. Ryan Danielson, some teachers will be teaching other courses that they are licensed in. Mr. Tevor Keller will move from Junior High Science to Junior High Social Studies; Mrs. Joan Foleywill move from Junior High Math to Junior High Science; Mrs. Ivy Lovgren will have two more Junior High Math periods; and Mr. Jon Fellows will add one period of Psychology and Sociology to the two American History classes that he currently teaches.

Band and Chorus will be put into one period. They have been working with Mr. Matt Lamb and Mrs. Jennifer Neu on this, as this will allow students the opportunity to take additional courses that they may not have been able to take if they were in both band and chorus.

They also plan on making the sixth grade look more like a junior high with a schedule that will have them going to different teachers for some of their subjects. Mrs. Lovgren would teach sixth grade math, Mrs. Kerry Klepel would teach reading and language arts and Mr. Joe Eustice would teach social studies, science and health. This would allow these teachers the opportunity to specialize in these areas. Mrs. Sara Wollschlager would move into the Title program to fill the time left open by moving Mrs. Klepel into sixth grade.

Amber Amdahl of Countryside Public Health gave a presentation on Emergency Preparedness. Countryside is in the process of meeting with their community partners and informed the board of what procedures they are working on in case of an emergency in the school system.

In other business, the board approved to pay the final cost of a Grand Piano for the music department. The cost for the piano is approximately $13,150, with $5,000 already raised through fundraising efforts. Marlowe Klepel had come before the board and stated that the school should take care of paying the remaining cost of the piano as a need for the school.

The next meeting of the Ortonville School Board will be on Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in the school library.

Seth Parker