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Deerfield sees first all-women school board

“We should applaud that, because I’m really proud of that,” Jensen, calling it a “quite amazing” milestone

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For the first time, the Deerfield School Board is made up entirely of women.

At the board’s April 26 meeting, Superintendent Michelle Jensen called it “history in the making.”

“We should applaud that, because I’m really proud of that,” Jensen, calling it a “quite amazing” milestone.

Katie Michel and Sarah Hart joined the board on April 26, after earning seats in the April 6 election. They are filling the seats of former board president Jim Haak and board member Nathan Brown, who did not seek reelection.

Board member Sandy Fischer was reelected on April 6.

The board on April 26 selected Lisa Sigurslid as its new president. Sigurslid was previously vice president.

Autumn Knudtson was elected the vice president on April 26, Shelley Mack will continue as clerk and Sandy Fischer was chosen as the treasurer.

In other matters, the school board on April 26:

  • Approved the 2021-22 school calendar, which includes a day off for students on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The district historically has not taken this day off, but the school board has several times discussed adding the holiday, during conversations on racial equity.
  • Voted to spend about $80,000 to upgrade outdated Chromebooks, about 100 for staff and 120 for students. The purchase would come out of the district’s technology budget, which has about $133,700 in unspent funds.
  • Decided to offer staff members a one-time payout of their unused personal days from this year. Due to substitute shortages and the challenges of virtual learning, Jensen said staff members have been absent less this year. Paying staff for their unused personal time would be a way to reward that, Jensen said. The school board voted to reimburse any unused personal days that can’t be rolled over into next year, which would roughly cost the district between $11,000 and $17,000.

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