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Carlton, Wrenshall may combine for cross country

Carlton School board members voted 4-1 Monday to pursue forming a cooperative boys and girls cross country team with nearby Wrenshall School District.

The Carlton School District received a proposal from Wrenshall in March suggesting the neighboring school districts co-op on several sports. In her motion to explore a combined cross country team, Board Chair Julianne Emerson said she hoped the two districts could “serve to inform the broader vision.”

Board member Jennifer Chmielewski pushed to combine in more sports, pointing out the benefits to students of participating on better and bigger teams, as well as the financial benefits to both districts. Both school districts have struggled with numbers in the past, particularly for football because of injuries, and Wrenshall had to cancel varsity baseball several years back.

The board voted to authorize Superintendent Gwen Carman to pursue discussions with Wrenshall. Carman said she hopes the two schools together will have enough numbers to compete as a boys and girls team, in addition to competing as individuals.

Board member Emerson, LaRae Lehto, Susan Karp and Jennifer Chmielewski voted yes, with Stephanie Gibson the lone “no” vote. Tim Hagenah was absent.