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Arlee high school gets new teacher

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ARLEE – Students in the high school were without a family and consumer science teacher for the first half of the school year, but the wait for a new teacher is over. High School Principal Jim Taylor announced at the school board meeting that Lindsey Henning was hired last week.

Henning plans to start classes when students begin the second semester this month. She recently graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman.

“I was so excited when I saw this job opening,” she said. “I moved here from Columbia Falls. I hope I can meet the expectations of the community. The last teacher was amazing.” 

Henning is busy developing the curriculum for the six subjects she is scheduled to teach with lessons in kitchen safety, career readiness, cooking and sewing.

“I love to cook,” she said. “I had a really great teacher in high school inspire my passion for wanting to teach. I’m excited to get started.”

The position was left vacant for the first half of the school year due to a lack of applicants. Principal Taylor said at an earlier meeting that there weren’t a lot of teachers graduating in the field.

The school board passed a motion to increase pay rates for classified employees to $9 an hour in response to increases in minimum wage laws. Substitute pay was increased to $85 for certified teachers and $80 for non-certified teachers.

“I don’t think you’ll see an impact to our budget,” clerk Lonnie Morin said. 

One seat left open by Chair Rick Desjarlais will be on the May school board election ballot. District Clerk Morin said getting on the ballot is simple. A candidate needs to collect five signatures, be a registered voter and fill out a form. 

“We haven’t had anyone sign up yet,” she said. “If anyone wants to sign up, they can come into the district office during school hours.”

In other business:

• High school students can now sign up for a new literature class based on human experiences common in different cultures in exchange for an less popular poetry class.

• Superintendent George Linthicum was given permission by the board to write a letter of interest to AdvancED to begin the process of getting the advanced accreditation for the school. 

• Bonnie White was hired as the high school assistant track coach; Tersa Brown is the junior high head track coach.

The next Arlee school board meeting will be held Feb. 10 in the district office.

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