Around Cook County
Three probationary teachers were released from their
contracts with School District ISD 166 at a special meeting on May 30
at the Jane Mianowski Conference Room.
The ISD 166 School Board acted on the probationary contracts of Sherry
Nanoff, a math intervention instructor; Heather Kemp, a fourth grade
instructor; and Eric Frost, an early childhood special education
Superintendent Beth Schwarz said that Frost didn’t have the
appropriate licensure to retain his position and that Kemp and Nanoff
were being released because of the financial condition of the school
district and decrease in enrollment.
However, said Schwarz, due to several teachers retiring at the end of
this year, teaching positions will open and be posted internally so
that current staff can have first chance at those jobs. That will
leave some openings later, and, said Schwarz, “They may [Kemp,
Nanoff, Frost] be hired for those openings, but as of now we have to
terminate their contracts.”
A motion was passed on the non-renewal of the contracts.
North Shore Hospital Lab Supervisor Jennifer Backstrom was
happy to report that the hospital’s lab and her staff received zero
citations after the College of American Pathologists (CAP) inspection
on May 1 – 2, 2012.
Backstrom gave her report to the North Shore Hospital board on May 24.
“It is difficult for a hospital of any size to pass with no
citations, and the laboratory staff should be commended. I hope you
brag about them,” said Dr. Jon Steinhauer, a Duluth doctor who works
with the lab and its staff.
CAP inspectors tour the world inspecting labs, said Backstrom. The
inspector for the Cook County North Shore hospital had just come back
from Tokyo, and told Backstrom that it’s rare for a lab to be found
“”We have a real committed staff who have real high standards,”
The hospital board commended Backstrom and her crew for their
The ISD 166 School Board has finished its negotiations with
the Cook County Educational Association— the teacher’s union. At
the May 17, 2012 school board meeting, School Board Member Terry
Collins reported on his and board member Mary Sanders’ work
negotiating on behalf of the school board. Representing the Cook
County Education Association (CCEA) were Al Heine, Marc Tavernier, and
Betsy Jorgenson. The agreement, which applies to 39 teachers, will be
in place for the years 2011-2013.
A mediator was hired because the two parties could not agree on
salaries. The union asked for a 3.1 percent increase.
Collins also said arbitration had been considered. After Collins and
Sanders were told that they would likely end up increasing salaries
even after arbitration, he said they decided to spend the
$18,000-20,000 they would have spent on arbitration on salaries instead.
The result was a 0 percent salary increase this year (although
teachers will still move up the pay scale based on years of experience
and educational level) followed by changes in the salary scale next
year—which together will amount to an increase of approximately 2
percent in the amount paid out in teaching salaries next year.
Collins said they also negotiated a change in the starting pay for a
new teacher because they felt it was not competitive. A new teacher
with a bachelor’s degree will now earn $33,392.
Also increased was remuneration for coaching and other student
involvement outside the regular classroom. According to Sanders, this
raises compensation to more professional levels. Collins said that the
Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week. Coal ash along a Cook County stream, a high abused children rate in the region, swimming in Lake Superior, rumbles on Hwy 61, Canadians against carp, Aquatic Invasive Species and a winning local kayaker…all in this week’s news.
Cook County High School Principal Gwen Carman proudly
presented certificates of excellence to CCHS juniors Mara MacDonnell
and Sarah Larsen last week. Mara and Sara both scored in the top 3%
of all students in the nation taking the preliminary scholastic
assessment test (PSAT). Their scores qualify them for the college
plans reporting service. In addition, each student will be notified
in September whether or not she has been named a National Merit
Program semifinalist. Semifinalists have the opportunity to continue
in the competition for receiving a National Merit Scholarship.
Congratulations Mara and Sarah!
Every spring, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation
Officers receive calls reporting “nuisance bears.” Bears are
attracted to garbage left outside, to low hanging bird feeders or to
barbecue grills with food remnants. Sometimes homeowners take matters
into their own hands and shoot the offending bear—something that
occurred last week, according to DNR Conservation Officer Mary Manning.
CO Manning said she received a call of a bear found dead on a trail
just off of County Road 6 in Grand Marais. Investigation revealed it
had been shot, but Manning said it was not clear if it was shot in the
vicinity or had been shot farther away and dumped at the site.
No matter where or why it was shot, Manning said it was illegal. She said
neither she or the other conservation officers in Cook County had been
contacted about the shooting of a nuisance bear. Manning asks anyone
that may have information about a bear being shot out of season to
contact her at (218) 475-0121.