School Board honors student painters

Some of Aberdeen’s soon to be high-school graduates took on a grandiose goal for their senior projects. They spent their summer breaks painting the entirety of the stadium at Stewart Field.

Marv Townsend, Aberdeen School District’s maintenance supervisor, said at first he was skeptical that such a project could be accomplished due to the size of stadium.

“I talked to our painter and he said, ‘Don’t know why we couldn’t do it,’ ” he said at Tuesday’s school board meeting, where he presented the students with achievement awards for their work. “They spent the majority of the summer working on the stadium and did an outstanding job.”

The project idea started with senior Veek Cheema, who then recruited students Kaleb Lezao, Deon Schlesser, Lorenzo Ontiverof, Race Otterstetter, Chase Johnson, Sam Stipic, Jordan Logan and Corey Mays.

The maintenance crew also awarded an achievement award to senior Kellen Schroeder, the only student who participated in one of the district’s Career and Technical Education summer programs in which he apprenticed alongside the crew each day learning the technical aspects of such a career.

“He had breaks with us and lunch and found out an electrician is not just an electrician … they may end up doing a variety of different things,” said Townsend. He said due to the help of such students, the maintenance crew was able to get “a lot more” projects done this summer.

“I told you before I like my job,” he told the board. “… And anything I can do to help kids like this makes it worthwhile.”

Also discussed at the meeting:

• Superintendent Tom Opstad discussed the news that the district will receive half a million dollars each year for the next five years due to federal grant money recently awarded to them.

The district is just one of 10 school districts and community organizations selected to receive the money. It will be used to create “21st Century Community Learning Centers,” or academic and enrichment opportunities for high-needs areas for times when students are not in school, such as holidays, weekends or summer break.

Funding from the grant comes from Title IV, Part B, of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

• The district approved a contract for a math specialist, Christine Cheng, to work alongside teachers and students in grades 3-5 throughout the district. Opstad said she is “an outstanding young woman,” who works through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and worked mainly at McDermoth this past year with positive results.