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School Board approves new principal

The Jamestown Public School Board on Monday unanimously approved the hire of Jon Koehmstedt as principal at Louis L'Amour Elementary School.

Koehmstedt, currently the principal of the K-12 Midway Public School in Midway, N.D, previously taught junior high social studies for 10 years in his native Grafton, N.D. His first goal at Louis L'Amour is a smooth transition from current Principal Vikki Coombs, who will retire in June.

"Helping people learn has been a passion of mine for a long time, but the thirst for learning that kids have at the elementary age appeals to me," Koehmstedt said by email. "Louis L'Amour Elementary has a magnificent staff and wonderful kids."

Koehmstedt emerged from a pool of 15 candidates and three finalists in a search committee, said Robert Lech, superintendent of Jamestown Public School District. The committee prioritized qualities to include the ability to create and maintain positive school culture and instructional leadership, he said.

"Beyond holding those qualities, I believe that Jon has a thirst for growth and will quickly adapt and become a key leader for Louis L'Amour," Lech said.

Koehmstedt graduated North Dakota State University with a bachelor's degree in social science education in 2007. He completed his master's in educational leadership from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2016.

"My family (wife Sadie, daughter Harper, 5, and son Kase, 1) and I are very excited for the opportunity to move to Jamestown," he said.

The School Board approved a guidance memo to the Citizens Advisory Committee regarding its pending district facility planning recommendation to stay within the 5 percent debt limit cap. This will not allow a referendum to exceed $34.1 million for construction, renovation or equipping of school buildings, according to the memo.

The alternative 10 percent debt limit increase recommendation would allow a $70 million request. Lech recommended the 5 percent debt limit that would fund prioritized projects with the remaining projects using the annual capital construction funds.

"I feel passionate in the work of the Citizens Advisory Committee and do concur that there are

many facility needs across the district," Lech said. "We have significant facility needs across our district, from new structures to improving infrastructure on aging buildings, that must be addressed."

In other business, The School Board unanimously approved:

• a $22,500 Arts Center agreement for the 2018-19 school year.

• a $40,000 Central Valley Health agreement for school nurse services and $87,024 for a health careers instructor.

• Teacher hires of Katelin Anderson for Middle School reading, Sarah Telehey as third grade and Samantha Foster for kindergarten at Lincoln Elementary.

(A correction to this story changes the statement to indicate the 5 percent debt limit cap would not allow a referendum to exceed $34.1 million.)