Cost per student Mercer $26,433,
Wis. $13,505, Nation $11,762
ACT comp. score Mercer 17.0,
Wis. 19.6, Lakeland UHS 20.0,
Hurley 18.7; perfect score 36.0
Mercer DPI Report Card score
lowest of all 421 Wis. districts

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Slow but sure


For those few people who have questioned if the new Mercer School Board and administrator are making progress, we ask this question: Have you attended any of the board meetings?

If you had, you would realize that significant progress is being made, considering that the school is operating under very unusual and difficult circumstances due to the pandemic.  Then, too, the board and administrator have had to undo 10 years of mismanagement and misspending by the former administrator and his inept school board.

It appears that those who question the progress have not attended board meetings.  Only six members of the public attended the January 25 Zoom meeting, and one of them was Ricky Kelly, editor of the Iron County Miner.  (The Miner is Iron County’s only newspaper and the only one to regularly report on Mercer School activities and on other Mercer news.  It is well worth subscribing to.)

The new board has been in place since April 2019 and Administrator Sheri Kopka has been in her job mostly since then.  The first several months involved unraveling the school’s messed up finances.  The settlement of a $175,250 charge by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction that the school’s Community Service Fund 80 had been misused required massive restating of finances and detailed reporting to the DPI.

Then last spring the virus hit.  The board and administrator were quick to set up virtual teaching of the students and then a “back to school” plan in the fall.  The academic curriculum has been under constant review and now another major step forward will be taken. 

At the January 25 board meeting you would have learned, that is, if you had attended, that a special meeting will be held on February 11 to discuss the school’s curriculum.  Students and parents will be encouraged to attend and present their ideas.  Board member Jim Hannemann suggested that recent graduates also be asked to provide their suggestions.

In other action at the January meeting, it was decided that beginning with the February 22 meeting the meeting will be “in person” with masks and social distancing required.  The Zoom option will also be available. 

But then, you would have learned all this and much more about the progress being made by the board and administrator if you had attended the January and earlier meetings.  Anyway, you will be able to get all the details in tomorrow’s Miner.




  1. This just goes to show that the comments you allow to be seen are from 1: people who do not live in Mercer and/or 2: don’t really care what goes on in the school and just like to stir stuff up!

  2. One does not have to attend a board meeting to know what is or is not going on in the school. One needs to have children in the school or visit the school.

    Attending any business meeting mostly consists of hearing what they want you to hear.

    1. Too bad that you didn't attend because you would then know what is being done to improve the education of our children.

  3. MSF Thank you for the summary. I dont have to attend the meetings like the other person commented. I have kids that go to Mercer School and I ask about what their day is like. I look at their homework. I see the gaps. I dont see the benefit of putting lipstick on a pig to pretty it up and say everything is great. Its still a pig. I give the board an B for effort. As a parent what has changed for the teachers and the kids to improve academics? Provide us facts on how the kids and teachers are improving learning outcomes. Until I see the facts what has really changed to help the kids?