SARTELL -- Sartell-St. Stephen school board member Pat Marushin is excited for his new opportunity to serve the district as this year's board chair.

Marushin was elected as chair during the board's organizational meeting earlier this month. This is his 8th year serving on the board and his first as board chair.

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Marushin says the community has always shown great support for its schools. He says he wants to continue to see that community engagement and values their opinions and concerns.

I've tried to be a good listener and understand someone else's perspectives and take those perspectives with me to meetings and when we are discussing issues. I've also tried to be thoughtful and a good communicator when address the board and community.

Marushin says the ability to livestream board meetings has helped make sure the community stays connected and remain involved in what's happening within the district.

He says one thing the board will continue to emphasize this year is finding more ways to support students and staff as they navigate through another year of the pandemic.

We're watching closely student achievement goals and how are students are doing during these challenging times. We're also working on student mental health and social/emotional needs. We are also concerned about our staff and how their morale is and how their physical/mental wellness is as they face new challenges.

Marushin says the board is also looking at updating the district's strategic plan this year and building a foundation for the next 5 to 10 years.

Other officers elected during the annual meeting included Matt Moehrle as Vice Chair, Jeremy Snoberger as Clerk and Tricia Meling as Treasurer.

The Sartell-St. Stephen school board meets the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. inside the Board Room at the District Service Center.


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