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MHS's Olson named to national STEM teacher forum

The Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy. (Republic file photo)

Julie Olson, a science teacher at Mitchell High School, has been named one of 72 teachers nationwide to participate in a forum for STEM educators.

Members of the Mitchell School District's Board of Education recognized Olson at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy.

Olson was selected to the 2019 teacher forum as part of 100Kin10, a collaborative effort to put 100,000 STEM teachers in classrooms across the country in a 10-year period.

"It basically is bringing together teachers, academic institutions, national groups to discuss and brainstorm, what are the challenges out there? And then, how could we address those?" Olson said.

Since starting in 2011, 100Kin10's partners have trained 54,000 teachers, according to the organization's website.

Olson and other members selected for this year's forum will meet virtually and lead and listen in on sessions to discuss and learn more about how to promote STEM education.

In addition to her recognition by 100Kin10, Olson is a recipient of a $500 grant from the Air Force Association.

She said the funding provided by that grant will go toward the purchase of PowerUp planes, which are motorized, handheld planes that would allow students to learn about engineering, electronics and the parts of a plane.

"I can't believe how much labor must go into the work she does, because just keeping up with her success is a full-time job," MHS Principal Joe Childs said at the meeting.

Other business

In other matters, the board:

• Approved a $274,430 bid from Mueller Lumber to remodel and expand the Oak Room at Mitchell Technical Institute and add a stage to the Campus Center commons. Mueller Lumber's bid was chosen over C. Eagle Construction and Visions Construction's bids of $283,300 and $406,000, respectively.

• Approved the sale of the 2018-19 Site House, located at 2201 Dean Drive in Mitchell, to Jace and Lacey Bunkers for $310,000. The Bunkers' bid was the only bid submitted for the house.

• Approved a motion to declare 14 items from the automotive program at MCTEA as surplus items. The list of items declared as surplus includes a tire machine, volt-amp tester, metal cutter and miscellaneous hand tools. The board has yet to determine what will be done with the surplus items.

Consent agenda

The consent agenda includes the following personnel changes:

• New hire: Kelsie Mastel, fourth grade at Longfellow, effective at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.

• Resignations: Katie Rajchel, fourth grade at Longfellow; Darcie Dailey, Title I instructor at L.B. Williams; Jennifer Randall, vocal instructor at Mitchell High School; all effective at the end of the 2018-19 school year.