Members of the West Iron County School Board of Education gathered in the high school gymnasium to view a donated wood carving commemorating the rivalry between the Iron River and Stambaugh schools. The carving was donated to the school by Gary Anderson (third from right) and Jim Wicklund (not pictured). Pictured with Anderson are, from left, School Board members Gary Pisoni, Faye Atanasoff, Rob Possanza, Roy Polich and Arthur Sacheck.
IRON RIVER—At its October meeting, the West Iron County Board of Education had the opportunity to thank the driving force behind a recent donation.
Gary Anderson, who along with Jim Wicklund recently donated a wood carving commemorating the Iron River and Stambaugh school rivalry, was at the meeting to present the carving to the School Board.
The carving, by Ken Schels of Eagle River, Wis., was a long-time coming, Anderson explained, with the idea of memorializing the area’s competitive spirit beginning four years ago.
“The idea then took on a life of its own,” Anderson said, “and did quite well bringing in donations.”
Though the carving depicts football players from each of the schools, Anderson said it was not all about football or even athletics but the heritage behind the Wykons and how fortunate he felt to be raised in this area.
Anderson said he was happy to be able to share that with the school district.
The carving will be displayed in the high school gymnasium.
In other business, Athletics Director Mike Berutti reported that two self-funded sports will no longer be a part of the West Iron County sports program.
The ski team, which has been self-funded for the past few years, and the wrestling team, which was self-funded beginning last year and was sponsored by Krist Oil Co., will be no more.
He explained that with the lack of youth wrestling in the area, there was no feeder program, resulting in very little interest in wrestling.
Only two eligible students had signed up for the program.
Berutti suggested the district recoup some money by selling its three wrestling mats, which cost around $8,000.
The hockey co-op with L’Anse has shown quite a bit of interest, according to Berutti.
He said he was waiting for more information regarding how the season would work, but stated that practices were normally scheduled for 5p.m. Central Time in L’Anse to ensure that hockey players did not miss school and were able to be home at a decent hour.
He said he would check on whether or not West Iron students would be able to get in some conditioning time at the Caspian Ice Arena in lieu of daily driving to L’Anse for practice.
The board discussed the possibility of bringing back the drafting program and considered the computer aided design software vs. traditional paper and pen drawing.
A classroom of 20 stations would cost approximately $12,000, according to Superintendent Chris Thomson, who first wished to look into the sustainability of the program.
With limited board participation at the monthly meeting, he recommended holding off on whether or not to implement the program and how to go about it.
Board Member Arthur Sacheck said he would continue to look into free drafting software for the district.
Tammy Carr, high school symphony instructor, approached the board for permission to take her students on a trip to Nashville, Tenn., next April.
Students would miss two days of school, but would take part in a tour of the County Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry, along with an orchestra clinic and a visit to the historic RCA Studio B.
Carr was granted permission to take the four-day trip.
Technology Director Brian Rippey updated the board on the district’s internet service.
With the Merit Network now live, he told the board the bandwidth had improved drastically, calling it a big accomplishment for the school district.
A majority of West Iron County students are currently in the process of taking MEAP tests, reported Middle/High School Principal Berutti and Elementary Principal Michelle Thomson.
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Thomson added that her students were also taking part in the DARE program with Iron County Sheriff Department DARE Officer Boemke and had recently had a much appreciated visit from the West Iron County Fire Department as part of Fire Prevention Week.
Interviews will soon be set up for a six grade science teaching position, currently being filled by a substitute.
The November meeting of the West Iron County School Board was rescheduled from Monday, Nov. 19, to Monday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m.