At the regularly scheduled Monday, May 20 meeting, the Onamia school board thanked their student board members for their participation and dedication, discussed end-of-the-year field trips and commended the Onamia Supermileage team for a strong showing at the recent event held in Brainerd.

Student reps

Arriving via bus just before the end of the meeting, exhausted seniors Megan Saboo and Shan Donovan, who had been on an all-day field trip, were thanked by the board for their participation as student board representatives during the 2018-19 school year.

“On behalf of the board, I want to thank you guys for your great, wonderful help this year,” board chair Virgil Wind said. “We wish you both loads of luck in the future, not that you guys will need it.”

Both Saboo and Donovan thanked teacher Alicia Laughrey for encouraging them to participate as representatives, and both said their involvement taught them a lot.

Donovan noted that his senior year had been filled with a large amount of field trips and activities that he saw as very valuable, something that he said hadn’t been as present during his earlier years in the district. “I think if we continue to have a lot of fun activities we can attract more students,” Donovan said.

Both students were presented with congratulatory plaques for their service with the board.

American Indian graduation

Superintendent and high school principal Jason “JJ” Vold reported that Onamia’s Local Indian Education Parent Committee recently put on their annual American Indian Student Graduation Celebration Banquet at the Rolf Olsen Center which had over 150 people in attendance.

“It was a reall vibrant, fun night,” Vold said. 

In total, 17 American Indian students are graduation from Onamia High School this year, the most in school history.

High school updates

Industrial Technology teacher Tom Kohl’s Supermileage team performed well at the 31st Annual Supermileage Challenge held May 13 and 14 at Brainerd International Raceway. The Onamia team took third place overall.

“In the last few years, they’ve placed every year,” Wind noted.

 Seniors last day was Friday, May 24, with some students coming in the week of May 27 to finish up some testing and other items needed to graduate.

Elementary updates

Elementary principal Lisa DeMars reported that teachers were now finished administering Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) which “consumed most of April.”

Over 75 moms attended a Muffins with Mom event held on May 10, which DeMars said was a very good turnout.

The final weeks of school are very busy with many activities including Dental Days, put on by Delta Dental, which allows students to get a free teeth cleaning and checkup while in school, with their parents permission. The spring carnival was held on Friday, May 24.

DeMars informed the board that Debbie Anderlie is retiring at the end of the school year and thanked her for her more than 30 years teaching in the district.


• Students at Mille Lacs Academy recently got to inspect pig lungs, one of which was healthy, and one of which was exposed to cigarette smoke and exhibited resulting damage.

• Many field trips were taking place near the end of the year, including eighth-graders going to Valley Fair, art classes attending the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and special education students attending the Paramount Theatre.

• Numerous donations toward the after prom party were given in the last month including $200 from both the Onamia Area Civic Association and Richardson Township, $100 from Isle Bowl and Pizza, Judy and Mike Schneppenheim, Mille Lacs Academy, Onamia Veteran’s Club and Rum River Timber Harvesting, Inc., $50 from Cathy Donovan and up to $250 in food from Cedarwood Restaurant.

• The board approved a resolution updating their agreement Mid-State Education District relating to their technology services.

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