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Ironwood school board considers student athlete insurance


Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe

MEMBERS OF the Ironwood Area Schools Board of Education look over the agenda during Monday's meeting at Luther L. Wright School in Ironwood. Members include, clockwise from far left, Pam Niemi, John Lorenson, Marilyn Nezworski, Ed Rickard, secretary Carolyn Mieloszyk, Steve Thomas, superintendent Tim Kolesar and Leroy Johnson.

IRONWOOD - The Ironwood Area School Board held its annual organizational meeting Monday at Luther L. Wright School.

Officers were all re-elected, including Steve Thomas as president, Ed Rickard as president pro-tem and Marilyn Nezworski as treasurer.

During the meeting, the board discussed possible insurance options for student athletes after three families made claims to the district after their children sustained injuries during sporting events.

According to superintendent Tim Kolesar, the district used to have insurance for student athletes, covering what the parents' insurance policies couldn't cover, up to $25,000.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association also covers student athlete injuries after $25,000 and up to $1 million.

The parents of the three injured students said they were told the costs would be covered by the school district.

"We want student athletes to participate in our sports, and then when they get hurt on the field, we go 'Oh well, sorry,'" board member John Lorenson said. "Shame on us."

Thomas said the board should look into different companies to have a policy regarding athlete insurance reinstated.

A motion was made to have the three claims paid and have athletic director Gordy Erickson meet with sports teams regarding insurance for student athletes that covers only injuries sustained during athletic events.

Economic divide

A parent spoke to the board during public comment, regarding the ski, skate and snowboard program at Gogebic Community College for elementary students.

According to the parent, the program causes a social divide amongst students because some cannot afford to participate.

He said the district should be "ashamed" because some students would like to try the program, but can't because they cannot afford it. According to the parent, he spoke to Kolesar and Jim Lorenson, president of GCC, and nothing has been done.

He said the program "discriminates" and asked for Kolesar's resignation, asking for another administrator who "cares for all kids, not just the ones who can afford it."

The board didn't respond or take action on the parent's comments.

Other business

Seniors Ethan Johnson and Jonathon Erickson were named as student representatives to the board.

The board also approved a motion to hire Heather Sbraggia as the seventh through 12th grade special education teacher. Judy Belchek and Barbara Jean Ahnen were both hired as part-time Title I teachers at Norrie and Sleight schools, and Laura Wedinger was hired as a part-time support staff member.


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