Counselor, teacher hires, coaching moves, Stegman retirement on school board agenda

Mike Christopherson

Some familiar names and longtime Crookston Public Schools staff members and athletic coaches are on the Monday, May 24 Crookston School Board agenda, in the form of resolutions approving their retirements or resignations.

There’s also a significant hire on the agenda, in the form of a resolution to hire Tara Klein as a counselor at CHS to succeed Leah Zimmerman, who resigned earlier this school year. The school district had struggled to find a successor this spring, but in Klein, the district is getting a counselor with nine years of experience and a masters of arts degree. Her higher education past includes the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, University of Phoenix, St. Cloud State University and Minnesota State University. Klein will be paid approximately $68,500 in the 2021-22 school year.

Six applied for the CHS counselor position and four were interviewed.

Several personnel items

The May 24 board agenda also includes the following noteworthy personnel-related resolutions:

• The retirement of art teacher Gary Stegman

• The resignation of varsity volleyball coach Ashley Stopa

• The resignation of varsity baseball coach Mitch Bakken

• The retirement of Janise Dorman, instructional assistant at Washington School

• The hiring of Rosa Ibarra as School Age Care coordinator for the summer

• The hiring of Emily Meyer as varsity girls’ hockey coach

• The hiring of Rebecca Aaker as a fourth-grade teacher at Highland School: She has three years of experience and earned her bachelors degree from Augsburg University and her masters degree from Concordia-St. Paul. She will replace Erica Uttermark, who’s moving into a Title role. Six applied for the position and four were interviewed. Aaker will be paid $50,280 in the 2021-22 school year.

• The hiring of Kaitlyn Borah as an first-grade teacher at Highland School: This will be the first full-time teaching job for the Minnesota State University Moorhead graduate. She will replace Jamie Kresl, who’s moving into a Title role. Six applied for the position and four were interviewed. Borah will be paid $38,878 in the 2021-22 school year.

Other agenda items of note

• The board will also discuss a proposal for enhanced signage at CHS, for just under $39,000. The signage would include letters spelling “CROOKSTON HIGH SCHOOL” being located near the top of the south-facing exterior auditorium wall on the school, and letters spelling “HOME OF THE PIRATES” being located above the main west entrance doors. All of the letters would light up at night.

• The board will also discuss the latest information coming from the community committee discussing the future of Pirate track and field and football facilities, and the possibility of putting a referendum on the ballot for district voters to consider.