School board, Gemini Studios reach deal

FAIRMONT – Fairmont School Board has approved an agreement with Bruce and Shelly Abitz of Gemini Studios in Fairmont to film a minimum of 80 sporting events each school year through 2018.

The cost of $1,500 per month, or $18,000 per year, will be paid from proceeds from rental of school-owned farm land.

“This is a very important agreement,” said Joe Brown, Fairmont superintendent.

He said she has heard concerns that female athletes “weren’t getting treated fairly,” and the contract will “ensure gender equity” by filming 40 boys events and 40 girls events each year.

“They broadcast these events live on the Internet,” Brown said. College recruiters looking at Fairmont student athletes “can be watching our games live.”

“It will prevent a complaint for Title 9 (gender equity), and more importantly, it will be equitable for all our athletes,” Brown said.

Board member Dan Brookens, who introduced the contract for approval, said the district “is not under any obligation” to provide such a service.

“But it’s a real luxury and a great benefit to our extra curricular program,” he said.

In other action, the board:

o Approved a service agreement with Gemini Studios from 2014-18 to maintain and update several video and audio systems in the schools and record and broadcast main performances in the Performing Arts Center at a cost of $16,240 per school year.

o Approved a memorandum of understanding between the district and the Principals’ Association naming Michelle Rosen as the early childhood through second grade principal and Jim Davison as principal of grades three through six, effective for the 2014-15 school year.

o Approved hiring Andy Traetow as high school assistant principal, Teresa Kiehl as a social studies teacher, Sheri Swanson as an English Language Learner teacher and Angie Simmering as a special education teacher.

o Accepted the resignation of Jackie Lueth, effective June 6.

o Accepted a bid of $24,935 for purchase of a 2015 Ford F250 truck from Fairmont Ford. This was the lowest of three bids received.

o Accepted the low bid of $113,200 and alternate bid of $19,500 from Midwest Tennis and Track Company for completion of the track resurfacing project. Only two bids were received.

o Approved renewing the district’s contract with St. John Vianney School to provide lunches to the students for the 2014-15 year.