B-E graduation still up in the air; Meissner resigns as principal, AD

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Schools around the nation are concerned about what is going to happen with high school graduation and the Brandon-Evansville School is no exception.

At the Monday, April 20, school board meeting, Superintendent Don Peschel said it is the topic of many conversations with local and state school officials, as well as students and parents.

“I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but we don’t know yet,” Peschel told school board members. “If school is back in session in May then we will have graduation on the normal date.”

Peschel said the school district is waiting to hear from the Minnesota Department of Education and the governor to find out if school will be resuming yet this year.

“Graduation could be in August or it could be virtual. We just don’t know yet,” said Peschel. “The only thing we do know is that there will be something. We will do something. It’s a big day. But right now it is hard to know exactly what that day is going to look like.”


Peschel said the district is thinking about surveying students and parents to find out what they would want if a normal graduation can’t be held. High school Principal Nate Meissner said he would set up an online Zoom meeting with some of the students to get some ideas of if an alternative needs to be put in place, what it would look like and if a virtual graduation had to be held, how they could do it.

Both Peschel and Meissner said they want to throw it out there to get some opinions from the students, as it is their day afterall.

When Peschel knows more information, he will share it with the school board.

Athletic director position

Although no specific action was taken by the school board, Peschel was directed to bring more information forward at the May meeting about the possibility of combining the athletic director and assistant athletic director into one position.

At Monday’s meeting, the board accepted the resignation of Meissner, who is not only the high school principal but is the athletic director.

Peschel said he doesn’t feel the AD position fits well with the principal position and questioned if now would be the right time to combine the two AD positions. He thinks the AD position could be combined with a teacher position, however, just not with the principal position.

“I am trying to look at where we’re at and how we can get better,” said Peschel, noting that he has talked with other school districts to find out what is being done with those positions around the area. “Does it make sense to make it one position? Is that the direction we want to go?”

Peschel said he would continue pursuing it and would bring the information back to the board for possible action at the May meeting.


In other action

School board members approved the following items:

  • Resignations of Meissner and also Jake Pavia, band instructor.

  • Hiring of the following people – Michelle Wagner, special education teacher; Jeff Martinson, social studies teacher; Jordyn Bossert, first grade teacher; and Kristin Buckley, band instructor.

  • Tenure for 2020-21 for Zach Traphagen and Adam Steege.

School board members also thanked Vicki Ellis for her many years of service to the district as the business manager. They presented her with flowers at the end of the meeting. Ellis, who worked in the district for 27 years, is retiring. Her last day is April 30.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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