Keith Vandervort

ELY — The grandson of two Ely residents accepted an offer last Thursday to become the next 6-12 year old principal at Ely Memorial High School.
Jeffrey M. Carey, of Eveleth, and two other candidates, Hibbing Administrator Mandy Huusko, and Northland Learning Center Student Dean Crystal Poppler, were interviewed by members of ISD School Board 696 and an expanded committee of administrators and faculty last Wednesday after Timberjay’s deadline. .
The post was vacated by Megan Anderson who resigned as principal at the end of the year to return to a teaching position at Ely College.
By unanimous decision of the board, Carey was offered the position later that evening and accepted the offer last Thursday morning, according to school board president Ray Marsnik.
“His previous experience as manager and superintendent really stood out,” he said. “The extended committee (of professors and administrators) also appreciated the choice. We are lucky to have him. »
Most recently, Carey was the Construction Liaison for Rock Ridge School District ISD 2909, since 2020, and previously served as Superintendent/Director of Elementary ISD 2154 Eveleth-Gilbert School District from 2014-2020, and Principal of 5th to 8th grade. From 1996 to 2013, Carey was employed by ISD 2142 St. Louis County School District where he held several positions including Principal of K-12 at Cherry, Tower and Cotton Schools and Dean of Students at Cotton School.
Carey began her post-secondary education at Vermilion Community College in 1991 and attended Moorhead State University, Bemidji State University, University of Wisconsin-Higher, and St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.
Carey holds licenses and certificates in District Superintendent, K-12 Principal, K-12 Special Education, 7-12 Social Studies, and Life Coaching. 7th to 12th grade.
Marsnik said Thursday he was impressed with Carey’s response to an interview question about the district’s fight against declining enrollment.
“He said we need to have a good product and have a good relationship with our college here,” Marsnik said. “And he insisted on having a positive learning environment.”
Marsnik added: “All three interviews went really well, Carey’s experience really stood out. And it’s nice that he has a connection to Ely with his grandparents here and his VCC upbringing.
The school board’s contract negotiation committee is in talks with Carey to finalize a starting salary. He is expected to take office in early August.
“I’m very happy with our new manager,” added Marsnik. “I was a little worried he was considering other places, but we’re lucky he verbally accepted the job.”
school safety
In light of another recent school shooting where 19 children were shot at a Texas school, members of the Ely School Board last week expressed concerns about school safety and discussed secure entry protocols with the opening of the new school this fall.
“With the new secure single entry, are we going to have secretarial staff on both sides?” asked board member Rochelle Sjoberg. “Are we going to review policies and practices for visitors coming in? In this small community, it’s hard because you know people, you know parents. I would like us to review our visit process with badges and know who comes in and who goes out.
Anne Oelke, Director of Kindergarten to Grade 5, assured board members that staff review crisis planning throughout the year.
“We are all in agreement to communicate very strongly in August about what our new crisis planning will be and all the new changes with the new building and the secure entrance. We have all received comments that communication is key when this incident happened in Texas. It brought to the fore what we do here in Ely.
Sjoberg suggested that school board members get an overview of the school’s safety plan before it’s rolled out.
“So we have an agreement. This knowledge and refresher course is good for everyone,” she said. “Any type of change like this is going to cause some frustration. This is for your safety.
While staff and faculty will continue to be able to enter any school door with their authorized key card, all students and visitors throughout the school day will be required to enter the building through the single entrance. secure located in the new building added between the Memorial and Washington Buildings.
“All doors will be locked except the front door,” Oelke said.
Apparently, included in the construction plan for the new facility, an office will likely be provided for the use of Ely police officers.
“This room would be used to store materials and such,” said school board member Tony Colarich. “It is to be discussed. I’m not saying that’s something we’re going to do. That’s something we’re going to discuss. »
Acting Superintendent John Klarich offered a clarification.
“Whatever role (for campus policing) the school board, administration and staff would like to see,” he said.
other business
In other matters last Wednesday, the school board took the following action,
• Approval of a contractual agreement with the Union of Confidential/Supervisory Employees, including Facilities Manager Tim Leeson, Payroll Coordinator Jordan Huntbatch and Assistant Superintendent Mary Wognum.
• Hired Heidi Omerza, member of Ely City Council and wife of school board member Tom Omerza, as a full-time fifth grade teacher.
• Hiring of Amanda Nelson as a home learning teacher.
• Hiring of Erika Mattson as a preschool classroom assistant for summer skills.
• Accepted the resignation of cafeteria helper Richard Kovall.
• Accepted quotes from Como Oil and Propane for district fuel requirements in 2022-23 for $1.68 per gallon (bobtail) and $1.54 per gallon (tank). Both prices are about 50 cents per gallon higher than last year.
• Approved bids for Prairie Farms District Dairy Products, Pan-O-Gold Baking Co. Bakery Products and Phil Hegfors and Sons Construction Snow Removal Services for the upcoming school year.

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