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News from the week of January 19, 2000


Teacher settlement less than state average

Two-year package is 7.9% increase over two years

A two-year contract between the Tracy Education Association and District 417 was ratified on Friday, Jan. 14.

Teacher compensation over two years will average $3,125 per teacher, according to terms of the contract. The 7.9% increase includes benefits and step increases. If employer teacher retirement and social security contributions are included in calculations, the teacher compensation costs increase about 9% over the two-years of the contract.

The District 417 increase is less than the average, compared with settlements statewide. Average dollar increase per teacher statewide is about $3,900 per teacher. Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

AFS families broaden horizons

Madalena & Noora bring new perspectives to Tracy

Opening one's home to a teen from another country for a year isn't something every family feels they can do. But two who did say they wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Hosting AFS student Madalena Seabra (pronounced See ah’ bra) of Santarém, Portugal for the 1999-2000 school year at Tracy Area High School are Tom and Joan Gervais and daughters Andrea and Katie of rural Currie.

Welcoming 17-year-old Noora Räsänen (roll the r's) from Leppävirta, Finland are rural Tracy residents Jim and Mary Malmberg, Elizabeth and Daniel.

Bubbly and easygoing, Maddy, as she is known to her American family, says jumping horses was her favorite activity in Portugal, which, she is quick to point out, is not in South America. And it isn't part of Spain.

Contemplative and friendly, Noora is interested in becoming a journalist. Her experiences and impressions of the U.S. are being featured in monthly articles she writes for her hometown paper in Finland. Noora's family lives on a lake in a city about the size of Marshall.

Butch Cassidy? Plot thickens

One-act play performance set Saturday

A one-act play will be presented by Tracy Area High School students Saturday, beginning at about 7:30 p.m.

The theater presentation will be staged after the completion of Panther girls' basketball games scheduled with Kerkoven-Murdock-Sunberg Saturday afternoon in the gym. The play will be performed on the gym stage.

The students are presenting a scene from "A Lantern In the Wind." The story centers around an inquisitive reporter pursuing a hot story about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Besides the Jan. 22 performance, "A Lantern in the Wind" will also be performed at the Sub-Section one-act play competition in Granite Falls Jan. 29 at Yellow Medicine East High School.

Warm memories on a winter's night

Snow week festivities at Tracy Area High School weren't filled with avalanches of snow outside. But cozy moments kindled inside the school gymnasium as the FFA and Future Leaders of America Chapters sponsored a gala Snow Dance Friday night. Ben Lightfoot was crowned the Snow King and DeAnn Johnson was the Snow Queen.

Twisters don't miss a step in hosting first dance competition

Dancing fever gyrated through the Tracy Area High School gymnasium Saturday.

An estimated 600 people turned out for the Tracy Twisters dance competition. Fourteen high-kicking squads competed in the first-ever Tracy Twisters' sponsored dance competition.

"It was successful. We had a good turnout and the girls had a lot of fun," said Twisters' Coach Jen Kainz. She especially thanked the Twisters' mothers, who she said put a great deal of time into helping stage the event.

About 300 dancers took part. Teams were: Jackson County Central, BDRSH Jaguarettes, New Ulm Cathedral Sonics, Canby Sensations, GFW Voltage, Litchfield Dragon Flames, Minneota Vikettes, New London-Spicer Black Cats, Nicollet Raideration, Tracy Twisters, Worthington Trojettes, Yellow Medicine East Silhouettes.

Internet recruiting service keeps coach constantly on-line with basketball

New Tracy-Milroy Boys Basketball Coach Jon Barsness got much of his early coaching experince in the AAU Summer Program. While coaching there he met a great number of college coaches on recruiting visits.

"They like to look at the talent in the AAU program because those players are usually the best in their age group," said Barsness.

The coaches wanted to keep tabs on the AAU players but didn't have the time to follow them.

"I knew what the college coaches were looking for from my coaching experiences at Concordia University, California," said Barsness. "I also knew that they did not trust most coaches' observations because they tend to overstate the kids ability or because they ( the AAU and high school coaches) frequently want to ride the kid's coat tails to a college job."

So Barsness has started a college coach's recruiting service through the internet. He disseminates the information to them by printed matter in the mail or through a portion of the internet accessed only by a secret keyword. He gets this information through visual contact with the kids ( besides the area games he sees here Barsness will travel to the twin cities for weekends and catch 6-8 games), He also has many contacts over the country and receives videos on high school players from all over.