New/Ulm, Nicollet district borders tricky

To the editor:

I am writing this letter for two reasons.

First of all, I’d like to take this time to thank the District 88 School Board for their work and extra hours to complete the search for a new superintendent for District 88. Not only did the board have their regular board duties, but they also had many additional meetings and responsibilities during the search to find a new superintendent. Thank you for all your efforts, hours, and dedication to an often thankless job.

Secondly, I would like to thank Jill Hulke for her short time on the school board. As a working mom of four children who also helps her husband with his farm work, Jill decided to serve her community and wanted to make a difference for the children of District 88. Unfortunately, she has had to resign from her position on the school board due to school boundaries and where her home is located. However, she has been sending kids to school in District 88 for about five years.

As a fellow resident of Courtland ‘West’ Township, I have learned the school district lines are very tricky. The school district boundaries are not “clean cut.” However, the district boundary is very similar to the boundary for Courtland ‘East’ and the Courtland ‘West’ Townships, but not exactly the same. And, Jill lives right along this boundary line.

In fact, I regularly receive mail from Nicollet School District because I reside in Courtland Township, even though I reside on the West side of Courtland. (I’ve learned they do bulk mailings to both Courtland West and Courtland East Townships.) Furthermore, I vote in Courtland at the Rec Center, which is where all the Courtland Township – East and West – residents vote. Instead of receiving a ballot for the New Ulm Referendum I received a ballot on Election Day for the Nicollet Referendum! Again, I’ve learned living in Courtland ‘West’ Township is very tricky when it comes to boundary lines for the two different school districts.

Being a resident of Courtland ‘West’ Township, I firmly believe the error was a complete oversight. Personally, I did not know that I was only two miles from the school boundary until I was given the wrong ballot on Election Day. In speaking with Jill, she stated she has never received mailings from Nicollet School District for ECFE, preschool screenings, etc. But, according to the Secretary of State’s website, she lives in the Nicollet School District. If it is decided to keep Jill on the school board for District 88, I’m sure both the board and Jill will receive support from the community.

Again, thank you to the District 88 school board for their hard work and dedication in the selection of a new superintendent. And, thank you to Jill for her service, even if it was for a short time. The school board’s work has not gone unnoticed!

Michele Schroeder

Courtland ‘West’ Township & District 88 Resident

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