Hepola to fill vacancy on a part-time basis

By Chad Koenen


The Henning School District filled a vacant business manager position from within the school district. 

During its regularly scheduled meeting last week, the Henning School Board approved a memorandum of understanding with business teacher Mike Hepola to fill the business manager position on a part-time basis. 

As part of the memorandum with Hepola, who will work as both the part-time business manager and teach one 45-minute class period as part of the memorandum of understanding. The memorandum of understanding will cover two school years through the summer of 2025 at which time Hepola has the option to return to teaching full-time.

In other news

• Accepted the resignations of Melissa Babolian as visual arts teacher, Dawn Lueders as bus driver, John Lueders as bus driver and Jennifer Jacobs as a paraprofessional.

• Approved the hiring of Velva Lewis as food service director and Terry Oscarson as a long-term substitute teacher for visual arts. Oscarson, who is also on the school board, abstained from the vote. 

• Approved the minimum meal price of $4.95 for an adult lunch or a second student lunch and $2.25 for an adult breakfast or second student breakfast. The price is the required minimum meal charge for an adult lunch that is based on the current year’s state and federal reimbursement rates, plus the national average per meal value of the US Department of Agriculture Foods. The state of Minnesota recently approved a free lunch for all students that will cover the cost for lunches for all K-12 students statewide. 

• Heard that with the hiring of a new shop teacher the school district will once again be able to offer agriculture classes for students. Some of the new classes will include natural resources, animal sciences, ag manufacturing, ag construction, senior strategies and work based learning. Students in grades 5-8 will also take classes in agriculture where they will be introduced to a variety of agriculture topics. The hope was to also offer FFA in the school district once again.

• Heard the school district will be participating in the Direct Admissions pilot program that will notify graduating high school seniors that there are multiple partner colleges and universities that are eager to admit them based on their academic records and their projected graduation date. The students will be proactively admitted and they will then complete a free admissions application for each of the colleges they are interested in attending after graduation. Over 50 colleges will be participating in the program this fall. 

• Heard the school district will be live streaming sports via HUDL this year. A number of other school districts will also be offering live streaming via HUDL this fall. In the past Henning School has offered streaming services via NFHS.

• Heard from Martinez about taking money from a CD that is coming due at First National Bank in Henning and investing it in a program called term-investing. Martinez said the program could be advantageous for the school district moving forward, which could also reinvest the money with the local bank. The school board said it will discuss what it should do with the money coming due in its CD at next month’s meeting.

• Due to the recent resignation of two bus drivers the Henning School District will be transitioning from seven bus routes to just six routes. The bus drivers are currently driving their routes to look for potential ways to make the bus routes shorter for the students and to check on the overall bus route driving time. Another concern was raised over the lack of substitute bus drivers as the school district will be down to just one substitute bus driver, who is also a teacher at the school district, under the current plan.