Youth council compliments school board on changes

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/29/98.

Members of the Youth Advisory Council complimented the Paynesville Area School Board on the improvements at the school this year.

The school board met with the youth for the first time this school year during the Tuesday board meeting. The two groups usually meet about four times during the year.

The high school members of the council complimented the board on the improved school lunches, cleaner bathrooms, new paved road by the softball field, and access to the Internet.

Items brought forth for discussion by the high school members included the need for advanced placement courses (earning college credits in high school) for seniors; the need for an auditorium, and upgrading of the high school library. The students also asked about additional usage of the Internet for personal e-mail.

Board members informed the students that in order to offer advance placement courses, teachers are required to be certified by the colleges. In addition, the schools would need to set up an agreement with the colleges before putting the courses in place.

ďThere arenít as many schools offering advanced placement courses as you might think,Ē Deb Glenz, board member, said.

The students stressed that if there was an auditorium, more arts programs would be held. ďWe feel the school is lacking in the arts area and an auditorium would be a place for students not involved in sports,Ē Erin Aagesen and Tiff Rausch said.

The board said the auditorium subject has been brought up many times. They all agreed there is a need for a fine arts center. However, each time they talk about the proposal, they find other items which need to be added to the proposal...fitness center, remodeling of the high school library, and additional gym space.

At the end of the meeting, the board did agree to place the subject on a future agenda.

The middle school members of the council informed the board they have tried to make youth advisory a positive force rather than a group to field complaints.

The middle school group has brain stormed ideas for youth service projects, which included holding a winter carnival for elementary students on a Saturday; helping children while parents attend ECFE; making posters with positive messages; and starting a Mediation for Kids program to help with teasing and peer pressure in the middle school.

ďWe hope to take care of the little problems before they get out of hand at the high school level,Ē eighth grader Susie Swyter said.

Another item brought up by the students was the lack of signage in the community on how to find the school. In traveling through other towns or to basketball games, there are signs indicating the school is either north or south of the roadway. Paynesville has no such signs.

The Youth Advisory Council consists of sixth through 12th graders. They are Chelsey Leukam, Mike Mueller, Brian Korman, Heidi Olmscheid, Levi Bundy, Susie Swyter, Maria Janotta, Ryan Flanders, Erin Aagesen, Tiffany Rausch, Liz Hubert, and Laura Mages.

In other business:
ēThe board approved the 1999 tax levy certification. The district certified $1,950,148.

ēThe board accepted the resignation of Lois Kulzer, custodian. Her resignation is effective Dec. 31. She has been on a medical leave from the district.

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