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Badger School says goodbye and thanks two board members

The Badger School Board looked the same as it has been for about the last four years during its final regular board meeting of the year on December 14. By year’s end and the first regular meeting of the new year, the board will look a little different.

Badger Superintendent-Principal Kevin Ricke thanked board members Curt Hauger and Jim Christianson for their service to the district at each man’s final regular board meeting. This comes after each decided to not run for re-election this November, ensuring the board of at least two new members.

In a race in which six people vied for three spots, incumbent board member Cari Dostal ran for and earned re-election and new board members Jodie Davy and Brent Olson earned the last two remaining spots and assume their role in January.

As for Hauger and Christianson, Ricke highlighted both of their times on the board. Ricke thanked Hauger for completing a four-year term on the board and, through Ridge Sales and Hauger Farms, his snow removal services to the district since 2007. Ricke also mentioned how Hauger had previous school board experience with another district.

“Many thanks and we wish you well in future endeavors and we’re going to miss having you on the board,” Ricke said of Hauger.

Ricke then thanked Jim Christianson for his 20 years of service to the district as a school board member. He also highlighted Christianson’s 17 years of service representing Badger on the Northwest Regional Interdistrict Council (NWRIC) Special Education Cooperative— nine years as board chair— and his service on the Northwest Service Cooperative (NWSC) Board since 2016. Both of these groups also sent thank you letters or notes to Christianson.

In its letter, the NWRIC expressed how it would miss having Christianson at its meetings and expressed appreciation for the work he had done.

“Jim has brought leadership, positivity, and a regional perspective to the NWRIC board. He has been an asset in so many ways,” read the letter from Kyle Erickson, Director of Special Education, and the entire NWRIC Team. “His understanding of the purpose of the NWRIC, the Board, and school boards, in general, has helped our institution move forward and stay attuned to current trends. Jim has the ability to connect with people and make them feel heard and understood.”

The NWSC also expressed its appreciation in a note to Christianson and in it highlighted how he has been a “great supporter” of the group’s mission.

“He’s kind of considered the E.F. Hutton of the NWSC board,” read the note from Bruce A. Jensen, Ed.D, Executive Director of the NWSC. “… Jim is usually not overly verbal, but when he does speak, EVERYONE LISTENS!”

Ricke then delivered one final thank you to both men.

“Curt (and) Jim, thank you for your service. I hope you enjoy your future endeavors after being done with the board,” Ricke said. “I’m sure you’ll be active in the community and staying in tune to school news.”

Christianson responded, “Once a Gator, always a Gator.”

Badger Board Chairperson Jamie Isane also expressed appreciation to these two board members, highlighting how Jim, as board vice-chairperson, has been good about stepping in when he (Isane) was absent. Both board members still did have a Special Meeting with Closed Sessions on December 15.

“I wish we could be in person for these last board meetings for you guys,” Isane said. “… Maybe we will be tomorrow (December 15) at our meeting, more of us in person, but I would like to thank both of you also… It’s been fun serving on the board with you guys.”

Just prior to the adjournment of the meeting, Hauger delivered a message to the two incoming board members, both in attendance at the Zoom Meeting.

“I’m really glad to see Jodie (Davy) and Brent (Olson) attending this meeting,” Hauger said, “and I wish them the best coming onto the school board. But, it’s nice to see the interest and good luck.”

Hauger then made the motion to adjourn.

“I figured that would be appropriate,” Isane said.

Christianson then seconded that motion.

Isane then responded, “Okay, that’s what I figured.”

To see the complete Badger School Board story, read the December 16 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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