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Verndale School Board: Graduation scheduled and new principal hired

The Verndale School Board held their regular meeting on May 4. Graduation Graduation is planned for May 23. The ceremony will be held outdoors at Mahlen Field. This space will allow for the appropriate social distancing. The standard ceremony would be held with the exception of the band and choir performances. “We will get as close to a real experience as we can,” said Superintendent Paul Brownlow. The event would be livestreamed online and they are planning to broadcast it on the radio. Each students’ parents would be seated on the football field. Each student would have a reserved parking spot looking over the football field for other family members to watch the ceremony. No student, family, staff member, or school board member will be required to attend the ceremony. In the event of inclement weather, the graduation ceremony would be moved inside to the new gym. Only parents and necessary staff would be allowed inside. The Minnesota Department of Education has not given clear guidance on graduation ceremonies. It is unclear if the school will get any definite guidance before May 23. Plans are always fluid—they may need to be revised or drastically changed. In regards to a Baccalaureate service, it will be recorded by Tony Stanley and will be available on the Verndale Alliance Church website. Katie Bolland hired as the new K-12 principal Bolland resigned her position as K-12 Evaluation Specialist and accepted the position as the new K-12 principal. Jerry and Michelle Barrett praised the school, but were not pleased with Bolland stepping into the new position. They have had issues with her when she was coaching and think she should be more diplomatic. Board Member Tony Stanley added he received a call from a parent with similar concerns who threatened to pull their kids. This was a non-sports related issue. Angie Orsburn, who works with Bolland, added that Bolland supports staff, parents and handles situations professionally and she thinks she would do a great job. Another parent added she respects everything Bolland has done for her daughter. . . .



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