Waloch appointed to school board

NEW ULM – Denny Waloch, manager of Walgreens in New Ulm, was appointed to the District 88 School Board Thursday.

Waloch took the seat vacated by Sharon Gieseke who resigned early last month.

Waloch will serve until next January, when the seat will be taken up by the candidate who wins it, in this November’s general election. That person will then complete the remaining two years of Gieseke’s term.

“I want to be part of a school board seeking to make the school district attractive for the future, and also for present residents,” Waloch said Thursday, when asked why he applied for the appointment. He added that he hopes to contribute the perspective of someone running a business – knowledgeable about budgets and other business aspects – to the board.

Waloch was one of two applicants for the newly-vacated seat. The other applicant was Eric Gramentz, a member of the New Ulm Police Department.

The candidates were asked to submit applications, sharing information about their qualifications and motivation for applying.

A school board personnel committee reviewed the applications and made a recommendation to the full board.

Don Deslauriers, who served on the personnel committee, said the committee found it difficult to choose between the two, feeling that they are equally well qualified for the position.

In the end, the committee chose Waloch solely based on the fact he already has children in public schools.

Waloch is married, with two sons respectively in fourth and second grade and a daughter a year away from kindergarten.

Waloch first ran for the seat in 2012, as was one of eight candidates seeking four seats.

He also ran for City Council office in 2008.

Waloch grew up in Lisbon, N.D. and Page, N.D. He graduated from Lisbon High School in 1992 and from Valley City State University in 1997, with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He moved to New Ulm with his family in 2006 when he opened the Walgreens Drugstore, where he is store manager. He has been with Walgreens since 1998.

When asked, Waloch confirmed that he plans to run for the seat again in November.

In other business, the board:

Heard a report from High School Principal Mark Bergmann about potential changes in attendance policy at the high school, as it relates to earned credits.

The changes will be brought back for board approval.

Held a general policy conversation and overview. Superintendent Jeff Bertrang reviewed a list of school district policies showing which ones are required, which ones require annual review, and which ones have Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) model policies. The conversation centered on the policies that were developed locally and the current three-year-review cycle, with the intention of streamlining the list.

Reviewed a recommended 2014-15 study session topic list.

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