Voters in the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District have approved a $2.5 million-per-year technology levy and a $65 million building bond, both by sizable margins.
The technology levy funds approved Tuesday will be used to update technology throughout the district and provide staff and infrastructure support, while the building bond will fund a $52.5 million high school addition, allowing the district's freshmen to join grades 10-12. Sixth-graders will also move up to middle schools.
Superintendent Joe Gothard said he had a hunch that residents were on board.
"I think based on what I had heard … it did feel like there was a lot of support being reported. It was all about who got out and voted."
Passing both questions will raise property taxes on an average-priced, $200,000 home in the district by about $144 annually.
The support "just showed that there's really a lot of pride for our schools in this community," Gothard added.
New NSP leader comes from Stillwater district
The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District has settled on a choice for its next superintendent.
The school board voted Wednesday to enter into contract talks with Ryan Laager, executive director of curriculum and secondary education for the Stillwater Area Public Schools.
In a statement, Board Chairwoman Theresa Auge said Laager "was selected for his proven innovation in student learning, broad range of K-12 knowledge and community outreach experience."
He is to succeed Patty Phillips, who steps down at the end of June.
District 622 is the most diverse among those serving students east of St. Paul. According to state data, 50.4 percent of its 10,603 students are minority group members.
The district, a leader in offering free all-day kindergarten, has faced financial difficulties. On Feb. 17, the board approved $8 million in budget cuts and adjustments for the 2015-16 school year.
Hayes to fill term for late Scott Wenzel
Nicole Hayes, a longtime volunteer for the Anoka-Hennepin School District, has been appointed to the school board to fill the remainder of the term of Scott Wenzel, who died unexpectedly in November.
"I'm honored and I'm humbled," Hayes said. "And while I'm excited, I'm also aware and understand the tragic circumstances that led to this appointment."
Until her appointment earlier this week, Hayes was the volunteer services coordinator at Coon Rapids High School and before that at the River Trail Learning Center. She resigned to take the school board seat.
She also spent a number of years as the chairwoman of the Riverview Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization, and volunteering at various Anoka-Hennepin schools and booster clubs.
Both of her children attend Champlin Park High School.
"As a parent, you come into this large school district, and you can be skeptical — how can a district this size serve my children? But it's been fantastic, all the way through," she said.
Wenzel's term extends through the end of the year. Hayes said she intends to run for election in November.