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Substitutes get pay raise, youth hockey raises arena rent

The Lake Superior School District board approved a pay raise for substitute teachers in the district at its meeting Tuesday.

The unanimous decision, with board members Dwight Moe and Cyndi Ryder absent, raised substitute pay from $106 per day to $120 for the four-day week and from $98 to $111 for a five-day week for teachers if or when the district returns to that school week. Substitute principal pay was raised from $111.56 to $127 per day for the four-day week and from $103 to $117 for a five-day week.

“We believe with a more competitive wage that we’ll be able to get subs,” superintendent Bill Crandall said. “What we’re hoping to do with the salary increase is also to get some possible retired teachers or just some of our subs from the Two Harbors area to venture up.”

Crandall said William Kelley Schools is fortunate that a number of retired teachers in the area are willing to come in since they are familiar with the school building and the students.

The district also hopes the higher pay will help it compete with Duluth schools for subs.

“We do compete for folks from the Duluth area,” Crandall said. “And so if we can entice them to say, ‘I’m going to go to Two Harbors, because I get a little bit more and it will pay for my gas or whatever it happens to be,’ you know, more power to us.”

H Casper, a retired teacher and substitute in the district, said he was happy the substitutes received a raise, their second in 18 years, but that he was disappointed it wasn’t more.

“We were happy we got a raise,” Casper said. “This is the third fight in the last five years or so and this is the first time they gave us anything, so we were glad to get something. But, honestly, it’s a little disappointing.”

Lake County Arena

The School Board unanimously approved an increase in the fee the district pays Two Harbors Youth Hockey Association to use Lake County Arena from $17,500 per year to $25,000, the first increase in more than 12 years.

THYHA operates the arena and prepares the space for the hockey team, as well as setting up batting cages, safety screens and netting when inclement weather forces the baseball, softball and golf teams indoors.

Not only does do the North Shore Storm boys and girls hockey teams use the facility so does Two Harbors baseball, softball, golf and seventh and eighth grade football teams. In addition, some of the Two Harbors physical education classes use the arena for instruction during the year.

The $25,000 fee is equal to the fee paid by the district to use the Rukavina Arena in Silver Bay, where the North Shore Storm teams split their practices and home games between Two Harbors. However, Rukavina Arena is used solely for hockey and does not host other activities Lake County Arena hosts.

Crandall also noted Denfeld High School and Duluth East High School both pay significantly more for ice time at the Heritage Center in Duluth.

Also at the school board meeting:

  • The board approved the resignation of William Kelley School special education teacher Troy Paulseth. Paulseth is charged in State District Court in Two Harbors with criminal sexual misconduct in the third and fourth degrees and furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 years of age. He is next scheduled to appear in court Sept. 17.

  • The board also approved the resignation of WKS counselor Ryan Stengl.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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