Tom Haglin will serve as Brainerd School Board chair for 2020.

Board members unanimously elected Haglin, a 10-year school board veteran, as the chair during the organizational meeting Monday, Jan. 13.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been in this saddle before,” Haglin said after the meeting. “We’ve got a lot going on, and I’m excited to do my part and participate, and I’m excited for the year.”

Tom Haglin
Tom Haglin
Bob Nystrom will serve as vice chair, with Ruth Nelson as clerk and Charles Black Lance as treasurer.

Haglin replaces Sue Kern, who served as 2019 chair.

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“I would like to take this time, too, just to thank Sue for a job very well done as the chair,” Superintendent Laine Larson said during the meeting. “There’s a lot of extra time and energy that goes into being the chair, and we appreciate all that you’ve done on behalf of ISD 181 last year.”

Haglin echoed Larson’s sentiments.

In other organizational business Monday, the board:

Designated Bremer Bank as the district’s primary depository and the following financial institutions as other depositories: Wells Fargo, Us. Bank, Brainerd Savings and Loan, Frandsen Bank & Trust, BlackRidgeBANK, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, American National Bank, Riverwood Bank, Unity Bank, Deerwood Bank, Bank of America, the Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund, and financial institutions identified through MN Trust and Ehlers Investment Partners. Haglin and board member Reed Campbell abstained from voting due to conflicts of interest.

Authorized the director of business services and accountant to electronically transfer funds for the district.

Designated the Brainerd Dispatch as the official newspaper for the school board.

Designated Rupp, Andderson, Squires & and Waldspurger as the primary law firm representing the school district and authorized the superintendent to retain other legal counsel, at their discretion, to the extent necessary to ensure the district has adequate legal representation for matters requiring specific expertise.

Agreed to keep board member compensation at $4,200 per year, on a 5-1 vote, with Black Lance opposed. Black Lance did not comment on his position but has previously expressed opposition to collecting benefits as a board member at the risk of taking money away from teachers, activities and opportunities for students.

Authorized the superintendent or director of business services to invest surplus funds and to approve and confirm grants.

Authorized the superintendent or director of business services to execute contracts and work agreements under $50,000, per Minnesota state statute.

Designated the activities director as the district Title IX coordinator.

Approved board representative assignments for the following district and community groups for 2020: Campbell — Brainerd Public Schools Foundation, city of Baxter/ISD 181 Recreations Joint Powers Board, and Minnesota State High School League; Black Lance — Community Education Advisory Council, District Advisory Committee, Forestview Middle School Counseling Services Board and Native American Parent Advisory Committee; Nystrom — Continuing Education Committee and Sourcewell Representative Assembly; Nelson — District Advisory Committee, Employee Benefits Committee, and Family Services Collaborative Governance Board; Kern — Employee Benefits Committee and Interagency Early Intervention Committee; and Haglin — Forestview Middle School Counseling Advisory Board and Paul Bunyan Education Cooperative liaison.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at