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VALEDICTORIAN AND SALUTATORIAN for the Ortonville High School Class of 2017 were Stephanie Rausch, left, Valedictorian and Edann Cloos, Salutatorian. Stephanie is the daughter of Mike and Lonie Rausch and Edann is the daughter of Todd and Candee Cloos.

David Graf hired as new 7-12 Principal/Activities Director

The Ortonville School Board approved the hiring of David Graf as 7-12 Principal/Activities Director at their monthly meeting Monday, May, 15.

Graf, who currently teaches Special Education at Watertown, SD, High School, will officially begin his position in Ortonville Aug. 1.

The board approved the contract for Kristyanna Brandriet as K-6 Principal. The board had approved her hire back in March, but had been in negotiations for a contract for this position. Brandriet will begin July 1, serving as part-time principal as well as working in Special Education.

The board approved the hiring of Daniel Cox of Clinton as nighttime custodian.

Kim Quast, Ortonville High School Counselor, submitted her resignation to the board. They will begin advertising for the position immediately.

Board members approved support staff and extra-curricular contracts for the 2017-2018 school year. These contracts will be amended following 2017-2018 negotiations to reflect step, salary and benefit increases.

A tuition agreement with the Big Stone City School was approved for the 2017-2018 school year. The tuition rate was based on $5,480.40 per pupil unit.

The board also approved the transportation agreement with the Big Stone City School. The school will lease one bus at a cost of $37,421.99 for the school year. The contract is based upon actual costs. Estimated miles are based  upon where students are at on the bus route and are down from last year resulting in a contract reduction.

Due to there being no students participating in the girls hockey program cooperative with Morris Area and Benson, the cooperating schools, including Ortonville, have agreed to dissolve this sponsorship agreement. This will eliminate paying a participation fee to the Minnesota State High School League for this sport.

Discussion was held on the referendum and whether they intend to have  referendum vote in November. A decision as to how to proceed needs to be finalized by the July meeting. No decision was made at this time, but discussions will continue.

Matt Fellows came before the board representing the families of Roger Belgum, Morley McPherson and Ron Thomas, to explain the memorial they would like to do at the Trojan baseball field. They would like to redo the area along the first baseline where the old scoreboard is currently located. They would like to build a patio deck in that area for spectators. No school district finances would be used. Volunteers would do the work. The board approved having this group move forward with the project.

The next meeting of the Ortonville School Board will be Monday, June 19, at 7 p.m. in the school library.

Local Veterans Groups to host Memorial Day Services

Ortonville, Big Stone City, SD, and Bellingham will be having Memorial Day services on Monday, May 29.


Big Stone Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3964 and VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post #3964 will be having their Memorial Day program Monday, May 29, 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, Battle Hymn of the Republic  and God Bless the U.S.A..

Master of Ceremonies for the program will be Dr. Al Ross. Major Nathan Foster will give the Memorial Day Address. Pastor Ailsa Odom will give the Invocation and Benediction.

Ortonville High School senior students and scholarship winners Clarissa Blake, Karina Kafka, Alisha Ross and Rachel Hoernemann will be doing 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. Charlie Company, 1-151, will salute the dead-here and lost.

Big Stone City, SD

Gertje-Van Lith American Legion Post 229 of Big Stone City will conduct Memorial Day ceremonies Monday, May 29. 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. Saturday, May 27, to form a work detail to decorate veterans’ graves and again at 9:30 a.m. May 29 prior to the ceremonies.


The Bellingham Legion and Auxiliary are planning a Memorial Day Program for Monday, May 29, 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 a reading, “The Man Who Made This Little Red Flower” by Barbara Schmieg, Poppy Chairman; flag folding ceremony by Legion members Dick Ohm, Stan Olson and Tom Rademacher, and narrated by Sue Ohm, Auxiliary member; remarks by 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 Violet Borgerson, 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 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Everyone is invited.


The Ortonville Independent can now print posters and