Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Hurley School makes golf a sponsored sport


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Hurley — The Hurley Public School Board on Monday unanimously added golf as a school sponsored team sport for both boys and girls. 

Steve Lombardo, school district athletic director, estimated the seasonal golf team cost at $5,980. This includes a $3,080 varsity coach salary, which is comparable with other spring sports, he said.

The estimated golf course green fees would total $100 per golf meet or $1,000 for all 10 meets per season. Team transportation would cost $15 per hour for a bus driver and $1.71 per mile vehicle cost. 

A total of $1,860 in transportation costs was paid for the 2021 golf season for the club team.

Lombardo supported the transition of golf to a school sponsored sport as there is interest. There were 14 students who tried out for the six spots on the club team.

Hurley would be part of the larger effort to make golf a conference sport, he said. This creates opportunities for all-conference awards and a conference championship.

“And it is for boys and girls,” Lombardo said. “So we’d be able to offer it to both of them.”

School Board President Leslie Kolesar said that keeping golf as a club sport would limit the opportunities for students to compete for individual and school honors. But her reasons for supporting golf were also about developing a lifetime fitness activity.

“It is something that you can still be doing when you’re 65 and 70 years-old,” Kolesar said. “You’re not dependent on a lot of people to golf with, and for that reason I like the idea of adding golf as a school sponsored sport.”

Kathy Levra said golf would be a “worthwhile” program as a positive avenue for youth to “keep on the straight and narrow.” 

In her report to the board, grade 6-12 Principal Melissa Oja said her office continues work on social-emotional learning and its connection to academic progress. She is tracking student attendance, behavior and academic needs along with holding student-parent meetings. 

The first-grade check of the year will be this Friday. Correspondence will be sent to parents or guardians for any students receiving a D- or F grade. 

“By grade checking, we can connect with students and develop a plan to assist with academic progress,” Oja said in the report.

Rich Huotari, school custodial manager, said the new school science lab is nearing completion with door frames and windows in place, the flooring complete, and an 80-inch smart TV installed. Card readers will be installed at the main entrances to the lab. 

Lombardo, who is also the pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade principal, said the elementary classes will be making their first trips to the science lab for an introductory science experiment in October. 

In his report, Lombardo said that new school associates Kaitlyn Binz, Isabelle Beaufeaux, Amanda Coombs and Kirsten Heil are now providing vital support to students. 

“Their compassion and patience with our students show no bounds,” he said in the report. “I am very impressed with our new additions and appreciative of our associates who return year after year for our kids.”

Lombardo also announced that the school received a $150,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction that will be used to continue programs related to mental health support. The programs were established by the same grant two years ago and hired support staff, provided professional education for staff, and was used to build a sensory path.

Valerie Aijala, the Hurley School foreign language teacher, presented on restarting the student trip to Europe that was planned for 2020 but was not possible due to the global pandemic. After more than two years of waiting the trip is now scheduled for June 13-23.

The joint trip with Bessemer Public School District is to experience language immersion, history and culture. There are currently eight students and three adults signed up.

The tour is coordinated through Education First, a tour company with offices in the cities the schools are visiting in Italy, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. The company will be there in the event of an emergency such as a lost passport or injury.

The trip will follow the COVID-19 policies of the cities and countries they visit. In the event of a COVID-19 exposure or sickness the tour company will take care of lodging and food for no additional charge.

In other business, the school board approved:

—Moving the Oct. 18 regular board meeting to Oct. 25, to follow the annual meeting scheduled for that date. A playground committee presentation will be part of the annual meeting.

—Holding a used furniture sale from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the garage in the north parking lot. The purpose is to sell items rather than paying to dispose of them. 

—Going into executive session to discuss bargaining strategies related to the investment of public funds and employee matters. No action was taken upon return to the open meeting.

—Changed the name of the “parking lot fund” to the “building and grounds fund.” The original name was associated with a lawsuit that established the fund and incorrectly implied that the funds may only be spent on parking lots, Kolesar said.

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