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Nelson elected school board chair

Ruth Nelson will now lead the Brainerd School Board. Nelson was unanimously voted as chair of the board at the annual re-organizational meeting Monday.

She replaces outgoing chair Tom Haglin.

“You’ve done one of the best jobs I’ve ever seen,” school board member Bob Nystrom said of Haglin’s performance in the position.

Nystrom continued that Haglin excelled in communication with the public and audience, while always keeping the board on track during meetings.

Because the board rotates chairs, Nystrom said, he nominated Nelson.

Nystrom himself was then unanimously voted vice chair of the board. The clerk/treasurer position will be held by Sue Kern, the board unanimously voted.

As part of the re-organizational meeting, the board unanimously approved the following items:

• Monthly school board meetings will now be held at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.

• The primary depository by Bremer Bank, with other depositories: Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Brainerd Savings and Loan, Frandsen Bank & Trust, Blackridge Bank, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union, American National Bank, Unity Bank, the Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund, and financial institutions identified through MN Trust and Ehlers Investment Partners.

• Authorized the use of facsimile signatures.

• Designated the Brainerd Dispatch as the official paper for the district.

• Kept the compensation for school board members the same.

• Authorized Steve Lund, director of business services, to invest surplus funds.

• Authorized Lund to approve and confirm grants.

• Authorized Lund to execute contracts.

• Re-adopted school board policies.

• Established standing committees.

• Approved committee assignments: Reed Campbell with the Brainerd Public Schools Foundation, City of Baxter/ISD 181–Recreation Joint Powers Board, Community Budget Committee.

Chris Robinson with the Continuing Education Committee and MSHSL Designated Representative.

Ruth Nelson with the District Advisory Committee, Employee Benefits Committee and Infinity Governing Board.

Sue Kern with the Employee Benefits Committee, Family Services Collaborative Governance Board and the Interagency Early Intervention Committee.

Tom Haglin as the PBEC Liaison.

Bob Nystrom with the National Joint Powers Alliance Rep. Assembly, Schools for Equity in Education and the Technology and Transportation Committee.

• Tabled the authorization of legal representation for the board. Officials are interviewing applicants in the next couple of days for the position and will re-visit the issue at the January or February school board meeting.

• Approved a purchase agreement for the Brainerd High School Trades House at $49,900.

• Approved the ratification of the Food Service master contract for 2013-15. A couple of changes are: a 1 percent wage increase for 2013-14, and a 2 percent increase for 2014-15, as well as increasing the three-tier longevity schedule by 10 cents on each level.

• Approved the K-4 mathematics curriculum.

JESSICA LARSEN, staff writer, may be reached at or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at