Pipestone Area Schools (PAS) Community Education is now seeking volunteers for its first advisory board.
The idea of this project came to light after the company’s director of education was placed in the hands of Melany Wellnitz this fall. Wellnitz said he accepted the position “with the understanding that I have a lot to learn about the education community of all backgrounds.” However, he is excited to take on the role of director as he considers himself a “life-long learner.”
According to Wellnitz, Minnesota requires public schools to have community education and has been around for a long time receiving funding from the state. He recognized, however, that there was room for improvement. According to Minnesota statutes for community education, the director of community education can request advice from the advisory board, but Wellnitz’s advisory board has never been in place in Pipestone.
The advisory board meets four times a year starting Nov. 10. Nov. Wellnitz hopes to meet with about eight to 10 people, from a variety of backgrounds and locations in the community, to be represented on the board. The board will be a volunteer position and I would like to see Wellnitz begin a one to two year tenure on the board. The application for advisory boards ended on November 1, but those still interested in the board or with further questions can contact Wellnitz directly.
The board’s first task will be to analyze the responses from a recent community survey to determine the direction of community education programming for the coming year. This will include watching programs and classes and providing guidance to Wellnitz as director on how to meet the needs of the community. Wellnitz hopes to list the tentative course by winter, when the goal is to start small and grow to provide opportunities for all ages.
Community education and funding is undertaken by the state to cover a wide area. This large umbrella education community includes working in cooperation with state entities to avoid duplication of support and development. That help comes in various ways. This may help with program funding, oversee program/registration/coordination, or may help provide space within the community program.
The Pipestone community will recognize several of these areas that are already supported by PAS Community Education. Some examples of these areas include: youth sports programs from the Ewert Recreation Center, after-school programs, JO volleyball, youth football, Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), educator training, Arrow competitions and Adult Basic Education.
As new advisory boards are assembled and meet this fall, community members can find more information about the program and tentative course listings by following the Pipestone Area Community Education School Facebook page, or by clicking on the Community Education School tab.