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Big Stone Lake cabin

PREPARING FOR THEIR FINAL DAY AT ORTONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL are these three OHS seniors, who will be a part of the class of 43 students receiving their diplomas this Sunday, May 29 at 2 p.m. during the 130th commencement ceremony at the Ortonville High School Gymnasium. Pictured above from left to right are Jennifer Weber, Miki Gimmestad and Jacob Maatz.

Three resignations accepted by Ortonville School Board

Ortonville School Board members accepted with regret and thanks the resignation of Chirs Fellows as high school Physical and Health Education teacher as well as head football coach at their monthly meeting on Monday, May 16.

Fellows has accepted a postition with another school district and stated that his last day would be June 30. The board also accepted with regret and thanks the resignation of assistant football coach Kole Mastel.

Board members accepted the resignation of Paraprofessional Deanna Jensen with regret and thanks. Deanna  has been working for the Ortonville School District for eight years and will retire at the end of the school year.

A resolution was approved to not renew the contract of head volleyball coach Joan Foley. Her coaching contract had expired and the resolution stated that in the best interest of the district and volleyball program to not renew the contract. The school has began advertising for this position. Foley and Jason Barse have served as co-coaches for the past two seasons.

Contracts for the Support Staff, Certified Staff and Extra-Curricular activities were approved for the 2016-2017 school year.

Board members appointed Jay Ross and Kathi Thymian to the Teacher, Administration Board (TAB). At a recent meeting, it was determined that a committee of teachers, administrators and school board members (TAB) would be formed with their first meeting set for May 25 at 4 p.m.

Board Chairman Kathi Thymian summarized the Superintendent’s evaluation that was recently conducted. The standard MSBA Evaluation Form was used on a scale of 1-5, with five being exceptional. Thymian stated that Mr. Jeff Taylor’s composite evaluation score was 3.17.

The Boad then approved Mr. Taylor’s contract for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school year. Board members also approved the contract for Dean of Students/Activities Director Jake Foslien for the 2016-17 school year.

A Master Agreement was approved for Principal Joel Stattelman. Mr. Stattelman is eligible to enter into this agreement because he is over 62 years of age; plans to enter into an agreement with an employing unit; and plans to submit a TRA retirement application and begin to receive a TRA benefit annuity. They then approved a Principal’s contract for Mr. Stattelman for the 2016-17 school year.

In othe business, Board members set the date for Wednesday, May 25 at noon in the Superintendent’s office to canvass the School Board election.

A grant to the Ortonville School in the amount of $12,528.51 was received from the Southwest Initiative Foundation. The purpose of this grant is to support the Auditorium Seating project. This is a payment from the Ortonville School Foundation based upon pledges they have received.

The next meeting of the Ortonville School Board will be on Monday, June 20 at 7 p.m. in the school library.

Hartman wins seat on Ortonville School Board

Krista Hartman won a seat on the Ortonville School Board following the Special Election that was held on Tuesday, May 17.

Hartman received 180 votes, followed by Ashton Conroy with 111, Betsy Baldry with 79, Marlowe Klepel with 69 and Jessica Larson with nine.

The Special Election was held to fill a seat vacated by John Plathe, who resigned his position last August. Hartman’s term will expire the first Monday in January, 2019.

Local Veterans Groups to host Memorial Day Services

Ortonville, Big Stone City, SD, and Bellingham will be having Memorial Day services on Monday, May 30.


Big Stone Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3964 and VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post #3964 will be having their Memorial Day program on Monday, May 30 at 9 a.m. at the Ortonville High School Gymnasium.

Parade of Colors will be provided by the VFW, VFW Auxiliary and Charlie Co. 1-151.

The OHS Band, under the direction of Mr. Matt Lamb, will perform the “Star Spangled Banner”, “God Bless America”  and “God Bless the U.S.A.”.

Master of Ceremonies for the program will be Dr. Al Ross. Big Stone County Commissioner Brent Olson will give the Memorial Day Address. Pastor Richard Larson will give the Invocation and Benediction and Liz Ketz of the VFW Auxiliary will give the welcome.

Ortonville High School senior students Gina Nelsen and Hope Hasslen will be doing the readings.

The program will continue at Mound Cemetery for the decoration of the Monument, with Wreaths at the Big Stone Lake Pier by the VFW and VFW Auxiliary.

Big Stone City, SD

Gertje-Van Lith American Legion Post 229 of Big Stone City will conduct Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday, May 30. The ceremonies will start at 10 a.m. at St. Charles Cemetery in Big Stone City with ceremonies to follow at Greenwood Cemetery and at Big Stone Veterans Memorial Park located next to the Whetstone River on east highway 12 in Big Stone City. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

While Memorial Day is intended to honor our fallen, we should not forget those who have pledged to make the same sacrifice if called upon – the young men and women still serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, the United States and in more than 130 foreign lands.  All local citizens are encouraged to make a special effort to attend the ceremonies to honor veterans of past wars and as a way of showing their support for those still serving this Great Land.

Legionnaires are asked to assemble at the post clubrooms at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 28 to form a work detail to decorate veterans’ graves and again at 9:30 a.m. on May 30 prior to the ceremonies.


The Bellingham Legion and Auxiliary are planning a Memorial Day Program for Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m.  at the Bellingham Community Center. Everyone is invited as they gratefully honor the memory of deceased veterans.

The Bellingham Legion and Auxiliary encourage everyone  to take some time this Memorial Day to remember the dedication, heroism, courage and service of those who gave their lives for their country and the cause of freedom.

Memorial Day also brings the red paper poppy, the flower of sacrifice, that is handmade by veterans. Wearing the red poppy is a sign of remembrance and the emblem of keeping faith with all those who served in the United States Military.

The Memorial Day Service will include readings by Stan Olson of the Legion and Sue Ohm of the Legion  Auxiliary. Featured speaker will be Tom Rademacher, Legion Commander. Tom will also do the Reading of the Roster, with John Plathe performing Taps. The Closing Prayer will be done by Katie Rein, Auxiliary Chaplin.

Donuts and coffee will be served by the Bellingham Auxiliary starting at 9 a.m. The Memorial Day Steak Fry will be held at the Bellingham Legion from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Everyone is invited.

Lindsay Plathe