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This is the first time most of the students had ever seen an ocean, so the group stopped to pose by the Pacific Ocean.

The Grantsburg High School and iForward students and staff earned another US News and World Report national medal. There were 17,000 schools throughout the US and District of Columbia that were included in this ranking, and Grantsburg High School placed in the top 40 percent of these schools.

The US News and World Report ranks a school on six different factors, including performance on state tests and how well the school prepares their students for college. For the first time ever, this will be the 5th year in a row that the Grantsburg High School is being recognized with this award.

Josh Watt said, “It’s our teaching staff, it’s our students, who buy into achieving and wanting to be successful. It takes a lot of effort to get there, and we have a great thing going here in our school, so be very proud of that.”

Among good news in the schools, the middle schoolers are going to try a new form of fundraising for their DC trip. It will be called Raise Craze. Lisa Danielson explained it, “The thought behind it is to raise money by serving rather than selling.” Rather than trying to sell a product, they will be tracking acts of kindness.

High School Costa Rica trip

Most of the students that attended the Costa Rica trip were at the meeting to present a slideshow of the highlights of their trip with the school board members. The trip took place nearly a month ago, and all of the kids absolutely loved their time there.

Most of the students spoke about how much food they ate while they were down there. Violet Ohnstad said, “We had breakfast with our host families, and then we would have breakfast with everybody, and then we would have a snack before lunch, and then we’d have lunch. They just loved to feed us, because it’s how they showed their love.”

Each student took turns telling a short bit about their trip including places they went and things they saw. The ‘birders’ of the group were quite excited throughout the whole trip because they were able to see many, many different species of birds that you would never see in the US.

One of the students stated one of the coolest things she saw down there was the unbalance between primitive and modern-day living. She spoke about the fact that when you went into these small towns, they had plastic bags that covered their windows because they could not afford glass, but when you looked inside the house, they had a flat-screen television. She went on to say, “It was a weird mix of primitive… you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere and then you see a TV company or a phone company, and it was just a really weird contrast.”

Kate Weiss stated that one of her favorite experiences on the trip had to do with star fruits. She stated you can pick them off of the trees down there and just eat them. She was going to climb a tree to pick some star fruit when a man said that he would do it for her. Weiss said, “He ran up this tree, like actually ran, and picked me some star fruit, and we enjoyed that together.”

All in all, their trip was a blast. They learned so much about a different culture, and they made many new friendships along the way. All of the students said the hardest part about the trip was saying goodbye to everyone they had made relationships with. Most of the students will never be able to see those people again that they made those connections with while they were in Costa Rica. One of the students said, “It’s hard to say goodbye to someone you’ve become so close with so quickly.”

Future construction

The board approved a bid for repair of the exhaust and ventilation systems in the Tech Ed Welding and Stain Rooms. The HVAC systems that are in the rooms now are not properly evacuating fumes as they should be. The lack of airflow happening within the rooms could be a potential health and safety issue, so the board was quick to approve the bid for a new exhaust and ventilation system.

The board also approved a bid for cement replacement at the High School, Middle School and Elementary School. Oachs Brother’s Construction is the company that will be laying the new cement at the three schools to replace the campus sidewalks that have been crumbling apart.

Resignations and new hires

  • Jennifer Gilhoi’s resignation was approved.
  • Paul Maiden Muller’s resignation was approved.
  • Cynthia Ulrikson’s resignation was approved.
  • Terri Belknap was approved to be hired as the full-time custodian for GMS/GHS.
  • Brett Yant was approved to be hired as the part-time grounds maintenance.
  • A contract to hire a new reading teacher was also approved.