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WKHS secretary to remain year-round

Kyle Farris

If you enter William Kelley School in Silver Bay during the summer, you can expect to find a secretary at work in the office.

The Lake Superior School District board decided to keep it that way for the foreseeable future, passing a motion last Thursday that ensures the secretary position at the school will remain year-round, pending further consideration by the board’s personnel committee.

The issue, which originated in the personnel committee, centered on scaling back the hours for the full-time secretary during the middle portion of the summer, when school activities usually die down.

A handful of speakers during Thursday’s school board meeting expressed concerns that the absence of a secretary for even part of the summer wouldn’t allow parents and students to conduct necessary business at the school, such as obtaining transcripts for college or completing paperwork to play fall sports.

The secretary is also responsible for filing year-end reports, ordering supplies for staff and preparing the school for students and teachers to return.

William Kelley has a 10-month secretary in addition to the 12-month position, which caused some board members to question not only whether the 12-month position should remain full-time, but also whether the school needed both secretaries during the school year.

Board member Tom Burns referenced Minnehaha Elementary School in Two Harbors, which has one secretary and roughly the same number of students as William Kelley.

Superintendent Bill Crandall said the personnel committee made similar comparisons while looking into the issue but found that William Kelley is a unique situation because it is a K-12 school.

“Is it really numbers [of students], or is it duties?” Crandall said. “Where the difference comes in … is the high school component. It’s the transcript piece, the athletics piece and the accounts piece.”

The motion includes the option for the personnel committee to look into the matter further, which could kick the issue back to the board.

Bullying performances scheduled

Students in the district can expect a lesson this fall on the harmful effects of bullying.

Two Harbors police officer Sean Jones announced plans at the board meeting last Thursday to bring together students from Two Harbors and Silver Bay for anti-bullying performances by a nationally active theater ensemble.

“It’s more of a theatrical way of doing it instead of having someone just come up and talk,” Jones told the board. “We have to try something else to help the problem, because it’s obviously a huge problem.”

Trust Theatre Ensemble will put on four separate shows Oct. 27 in Two Harbors, including a free evening performance open to the community.

Students attending the daytime shows will be broken up by grade level.

“That way, they’ll feel more comfortable to talk if they want to,” Jones said. “Obviously, a sixth grader isn’t going to want to talk in front of twelfth graders.”

Elementary students will see a show called “Stronger,” which Jones said aims to “build kids up as superheroes in their schools to help stop [bullying]. Basically, showing them that it’s okay to do that, and you want to be the person that stands up for that.”

High school and junior high students will view separate showings of “The Bullycide Project.” The show follows the lives of 10 students who committed suicide after being bullied and is based on the book “Bullycide in America,” which was written by the victims’ moms.

William Kelley students will be bused down for the show, which is paid for through fundraising by the police department and the North Shore Rotary Club.