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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Crookston School Board: Donarski resigns, orchestra instructor hired

  • He was AD for seven years, was to become full-time CHS dean of students in the fall
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  •     The Crookston School Board will hold a special meeting on Monday, July 14 to deal with the latest batch of staff-related comings and goings.   
        Highlighting the agenda is the resignation of Don Donarski, who for the last seven years has been activities director in the district and in the fall was set to become a full-time dean of students at Crookston High School.  
        Also on the agenda is the board's approval of Spencer Frie as new orchestra instructor to replace Kyle Entzel, who resigned earlier this summer after his second year in the district to take a job in Grand Forks.   
        It was never explained entirely, at least publicly, why Donarski, a tenured teacher, was going to transition into a newly created full-time dean of students position at the high school instead of continuing with his AD duties. This past spring, after a hiring process that included the interviews of four AD applicants, the board hired longtime CHS chemistry teacher Greg Garmen as the new activities director, and he officially took over those duties on July 1.   
        CHS hasn't had a full-time dean since John Tufte filled that role several years ago and Todd Brist was principal. Tufte's position was eventually eliminated as part of a package of budget reductions.   
        Asked by the Times for his thoughts on what will become of the full-time dean of students position Donarski was poised to fill, Superintendent Chris Bates stated, via email, that he'll likely recommend to the school board a half-time dean at the high school. "Piecing it together is still the issue," Bates added.   
        In an email exchange with the Times on Tuesday, Donarski didn't detail his future plans.
        
    New orchestra instructor     
        As for the hiring of Frie, Bates said new CHS Principal Eric Bubna was involved in applicant interviews, and Frie seemed to the interview panel like the best fit. Following is a biography of Frie found on the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra website:    
        "Spencer Frie has been a member of many orchestras, including the St. Cloud Symphony, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, and Concordia College Orchestra. While in high school, he served as principal cellist of the Minnesota All-State Orchestra. Spencer is currently principal cellist of the orchestras at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, where he is completing a degree in Instrumental Music Education and Cello Performance. Recently, he has participated in master classes with cellists Anthony Arnone, Betsy Husby, and Amit Peled, as well as with the Miró, Parker, and Escher string quartets. Spencer has a passion for chamber music, and frequently performs with his string quartet and piano quintet. He maintains a private studio of young string students. His primary cello instructors have included Lucia Magney, Dr. Gregory Hamilton, and Michal Lang."
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    Special education director, chemistry teacher   
        Also on Monday's special meeting agenda are the "possible" approvals of a new special education director to replace the resigned Kim Johnson and a new chemistry teacher to replace Garmen.   
        Johnson resigned less than two weeks ago, but Bates said some applicants will be interviewed on Monday prior to the special meeting. The same goes for chemistry teacher applicants, which Bates reported at the board's most recent meeting were proving to be especially hard to come by.   
        Bates said the two potential hires were added to the agenda, but that he thinks it's unlikely either position will be ready for board action by the time the board meets Monday. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. in the school district office conference room.

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