Nebelsick announces retirement plans

HURON — After 27 years working within the Huron School District, Superintendent Terry Nebelsick announced his retirement Monday evening at the last Huron School Board of Education meeting of the year.

“I hope that we can allow time in June when it is coming to the end for me to reminisce on things. Diane and I absolutely plan to continue our residency in Huron where we have been for 27 years, this is our home. I turn 65 next summer and this board has been so good at taking care of human beings, we feel really good about this timing,” explained Nebelsick. “What changed in the last couple weeks was the vaccinations coming out and the reassurance that we can get back to normal operations by July 1, so I would like to do all of my thank yous at that time because we’ve got work to do.”

An executive session took place before the board acknowledged the resignation of board member David Wheeler, as it was noted Monday marked his final board meeting.

“Thank you for the many years of service that I have had to serve with you. It is a great opportunity to be a part of education in Huron and I have loved every minute of it,” Wheeler noted.

School Board President Tim VanBerkum added, “It has been a privilege serving with you the past eight and a half years,” as other members also extended thanks to Wheeler for his service.

It was announced that Kristi Glanzer was selected as the replacement board member.

The board approved the Huron School District COVID-19 Homebound Digital Instruction Program to replace the current Digital Learning Program with the goal to bring students back into the classroom.

“The next thing we want to do is we want to start working ourselves away from either distance learning or being in school,” Nebelsick explained. “Anything we can do to get kids back in should be our next steps.”

Certain criteria will be put into place for special circumstances, which would qualify for at home learning.

“The absolute goal is to get kids back in school,” said Nebelsick. “I believe in my heart that is the best place for kids to be. That is what this is all about, is having children in school.”

In reports to the board, Director of Buildings and Grounds John Halbkat presented Gina Gabriel of the Maintenance department with the December Classified Employee of the Month award.

A presentation was given by fifth-grade teacher Michelle Azar detailing the use of Google Classroom, which has assisted in the changing ways of learning due to the COVID pandemic.

Worksheets, quizzes and much more are accessible, as well as immediate feedback for various assignments to both teachers and students.

“I incorporated our curriculum. I can directly post an assignment and it will go right into Google Classroom,” Azar explained. “I can immediately, once they are done with their assignment, check their score.”

In new business two requests were made to use the Madison school gym and the Washington school gym to be used for second-grade boys’ and fifth-grade girls’ basketball team practices.

Other items would include the addition of javelin throw, which will be piloted this year in the activities program.

It was highlighted in the Superintendent’s report that the COVID numbers continue to decline.

“The current numbers situation with COVID gets to be better and better under control. Today we had one positive out of 400 staff members — that is absolutely amazing. As of this morning, out of 2,800 students we have one high school student and one student in the 4-5 Center test positive,” Nebelsick noted. “My message to the community is that masking works.”

Other action includes Tim VanBurken named as the LAN representative while Kelly Christopherson was approved to continue his role as Business Manager.

The Board approved a contract from Tom Oster of Dakota Education Consulting to help find superintendent candidates for the district.

The next meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, in the Instructional Planning Center at Huron Arena.