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The West Fargo School District needed a 60 percent majority to pass the June 9th bond referendum. Although the bond referendum failed, it only needed an additional nine percent to pass, with Yes votes comprising 51 percent, and No votes at 49 percent. A total of 4,538 votes were cast, with 2,329 Yes votes and 2,209 No votes. If there had been a bigger voter turnout would the bond have passed? It's hard to say.
Dress codes in our schools have certainly changed over the years. In the July 23, 1969 issue of the West Fargo Pioneer, an article announced a new dress code being introduced by the Mapleton Public School. Robert Kummeth was Mapleton's superintendent at the time. The excerpt read as follows: In order that the parents may buy according to needs before school begins, the dress regulations for the 1969-70 school year are being published before the Mapleton Public School year begins. School is to be treated as the student's job or place of business during the time he or she is at school.
At the culmination of a two-and-a-half hour negotiations meeting held on Wednesday, June 10, Dan Wolf, head negotiator for the West Fargo Education Association, and Board President Tom Gentzkow, both expressed that they were pleased with the amount of progress made by the two teams. A major portion of the meeting was spent fine-tuning and adjusting proposals for salaries and compensation of extra-curricular positions covered under Salary Schedules II, III and IV.
West Fargo School Board members and administrators met at 7 a.m. in the Leidal Education Center boardroom on Wednesday morning in a special meeting to canvass the votes cast in the June 9 bond election. Business manager Joe Sykora verified that there were no additional absentee ballots received after the polls closed, nor any absentee ballots sent to the wrong precinct. He also verified that the total number of ballots received by each precinct matched the total number of ballots returned, and that the total number of voted ballots matched the number of entries in the poll books.
Tom Kenville, Mid America Aviation president, was recognized by the West Fargo School Board on May 26, during their regular meeting. Kenville spearheaded a fundraising effort among area businesses, making it possible for West Fargo French students to refinance their summer trip to France after losing their savings during bankruptcy proceedings against their travel agency.
A member of this year's West Fargo graduating class has had perfect attendance for thirteen years, all the way through kindergarten to her senior year. Amber Tendeland, daughter of Darin and Carmen Tendeland, holds the distinction of never missing a day of school throughout her West Fargo education. In fact, she also had perfect attendance when she attended preschool at Faith Lutheran Church. Having perfect attendance was a goal Amber set for herself at a very young age. She lost three of her grandparents in 1995, when she was only six years old.
The Vote Yes committee held a press conference on Friday, May 29, to answer questions about the June 9 bond referendum, and to remind people to get out and vote. A small gathering attended the noon meeting held just north of Cheney Middle School. Toni Ballweber, spokesperson for the Vote Yes committee, gave the opening speech. Citing overcrowded schools and the need for more room for our kids, Ballweber asked the community to consider a yes vote next Tuesday.
The West Fargo Education Association and West Fargo School District's negotiations teams met on Tuesday, May 26, for their second session. The time was used primarily to go over proposed additions and revisions to the Activity Pay Schedule. Both sides agreed that as some sports and activities have grown or evolved, a closer look should be taken to see if revisions should be made to current pay schedules. Activity Director Curt Jones used cheerleading as a prime example of an activity that has seen role structure changes over the past few years.
West Fargo residents are urged to get out and vote on June 9th. Your "yes" or "no" vote on the $65 mil bond referendum may be the most important contribution you will ever have the opportunity to make in shaping the future of our schools and our community.
Each year, the West Fargo Pioneer likes to recognize the West Fargo School District's retiring teachers for their years of service and dedication. This year, there is a smaller group than usual, with only three teachers retiring. The district will lose Linda Francis, a longtime kindergarten teacher; Ron Halverson, a science teacher at the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center; and Jim Dew, a math teacher at West Fargo High School. All three have been teaching in the West Fargo School District for almost 30 years.