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Superintendent shares news of School District 166

School Board Chair Sissy Lunde and Superintendent Bill Crandall
School Board Chair Sissy Lunde and Superintendent Bill Crandall

School District 166 met on January 3, 2019 for its annual organizational meeting, as well as its regular meeting.

The organizational meeting started at 5 p.m. with School Board Chair Sissy Lunde administering the Oath of Office to new District 3 School Board Member Rena Rogers.

The organizational meeting continued with the selection of board chair, clerk and treasurer. Sissy Lunde was elected to serve as board chair once again. Rena Rogers was selected to be clerk and Dan Shirley, treasurer.

The school board reviewed and appointed board representatives to a dozen committees, such as the Community Education Advisory Committee, North Shore Collaborative, employee negotiations team, the YMCA Advisory Council and others.

The board approved Grand Marais State Bank for its financial institution and the North Shore Federal Credit Union for its scholarship account.

The board also approved the Cook County News-Herald as its official newspaper. The rate remains the same as last year, $9 per column inch.
Pay for school board members was discussed at length, with Chair Lunde sharing information about the rate of pay in the adjacent Lake County Schools in comparison with Cook County. The annual pay for Lake County totals $3,300 for board members and $3,600 for the board chair. Cook County’s annual stipend is $2,300.

Lunde asked her colleagues if they wanted to increase the rate of pay. There was considerable discussion of different methods of payment and whether Cook County should attempt to match Lake County.

Board Member Deb White said the school board hadn’t had an increase in its stipend in eight years. Jansen pointed out that board members White and Lunde actually accepted no pay for one year during that time. White joked that no one runs for the school board to get rich.

White said she would not like to see School District 166 increase board pay by $1,000, because that money would be better spent on students. However, she suggested raising the annual stipend from $2,300 to $2,400, to round out the reimbursement to $200 per month.

In addition to the stipend, the board approved additional reimbursement of $700 to the board chair and $35 per session for members of the employee negotiations committee. Both of those rates are the same as last year.

The school board’s regular meeting followed with an update on the “Common Ground Summit,” which is a follow up to last year’s Social Justice Conference. The board finalized its policy for adding a student representative to the agenda at school board meetings. And the board heard an update from Assistant Principal Mitch Dorr about the cell phone policy put in place at the beginning of the school year.
The board also heard about a problem facing not just School District 166, but schools across the nation—vaping, or use of e-cigarettes. Assistant Principal Dorr was asked to bring more information to the school board at its next meeting.