Carlton starts search for South Terrace Elementary principal

The position was made vacant after pre-K-12 Principal Ben Midge submitted his resignation, effective June 30.

South Terrace Elementary_1.JPG
South Terrace Elementary School, Carlton.
Katie Rohman / 2019 file / Cloquet Pine Journal
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CARLTON — The Carlton School District will begin its search for a new principal at South Terrace Elementary School for the 2022-2023 school year after the resignation of pre-K-12 Principal Ben Midge, effective June 30, was approved by the board at its Monday, May 16.

Midge has spent the previous five years working in the Carlton School District beginning as the principal at South Terrace Elementary School before serving as the Pre-K-12 principal the last two years.

Midge recently accepted a job in the Dover-Eyota School District as principal of Dover-Eyota Elementary School.

The farm, located in Cromwell, was originally purchased in 1918 by Charles and Wilhelmena Anderson for $6.20 per acre.

Carlton Superintendent John Engstrom took time to applaud Midge for his efforts.

“I just want to thank Ben for his work in the district, and wish the entire Midge family the very best in their next adventure,” Engstrom said.


The board gave the green light for Superintendent John Engstrom to post the South Terrace Elementary School Principal position for applicants. Engstrom said the position will also include some responsibilities at the middle/high school in what was described as a 90/10 split between the district’s two sites.

Engstrom went on to share that he will be assisting at the middle/high school with principal duties with help from a part-time principal.

Carlton/Wrenshall co-op discussions continue

Using the Moose Lake/Willow River athletic co-op agreement as a general template, the Carlton/Wrenshall athletic co-op subcommittee will continue discussions about forming an athletic co-op at its third meeting, Tuesday, May 17, at Wrenshall High School.

The proposed agreement would cover all existing cooperative sports for grades 7-12, along with any additional sports and extra-curricular activities that may be added in the future, according to information provided in the board meeting packet.

The districts plan to begin the hiring process for cross-country and football, which already have a co-op agreement in place.

By mutual agreement, a Carlton/Wrenshall football team will not play a varsity schedule in the fall due to low participation numbers. Instead, the program will play a JV schedule with hopes of returning to a varsity schedule in the years to come if more students sign up, Engstrom said.

Board explores move to Apptegy

Citing issues with its current website powered by Campus Suite, the board discussed a switch to the Little Rock, Arkansas-based company Apptegy as the provider of the district’s website during its meeting on Monday.

According to information provided in the meeting packet, the district currently pays $3,550 annually for its website and instant messenger service through Campus Suite. Moving to Apptegy would cost the district $5,525 annually.


Neighboring school district Willow River currently utilizes Apptegy for its website and officials there spoke favorably of the company in discussions with Carlton officials.

Through Apptegy, the district would be able to provide ongoing updates on activities without the potential for the comments that can derail some current social media platforms, according to the documents.

Board Chair Julianne Emerson expressed interest in the switch citing its ability to provide a better first impression for prospective new families and students moving to the district.

“When you’re talking about marketing and trying to get students in here, that’s the first thing that people do is they Google the school districts,” Emerson said.

The board did not vote on the switch Monday. The measure will be formally presented to the board with additional details at its June 13 meeting.

Jake Przytarski is a reporter for the Cloquet Pine Journal covering a mix of news and sports.
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