Stewartville schools add COVID coordinator to staff

The district is paying for the position with state and federal relief funding.

Bredesen, Tricia.jpg
Tricia Bredesen, COVID coordinator for Stewartville Public Schools (Contributed photo)

Stewartville Public Schools has hired a full-time coordinator to handle the district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tricia Bredesen, a 1999 graduate of the district, accepted the position shortly before the school year started. Superintendent Belinda Selfors said administrators decided to create the position to relieve the amount of responsibilities on existing staff and also create consistency among the district’s schools.

“To avoid that issue of having multiple interpretations of the plan and the procedures that need to be followed… it needed to be one individual coordinating the entire effort for the district,” Selfors said.

Coordinating a school district’s response to the pandemic is no small task. The Minnesota departments of health and education released more than 100 pages worth of guidance related to COVID-19 for public school districts to follow.

The position will last at least through the end of the school year, regardless of what learning model the district is using. Currently, the elementary students are learning in person, and the secondary students are in the hybrid model.


“She’s done all of our education, all of our training; she’s interpreting the decision-making chart,” Selfors said. “Anything that comes with COVID is under her umbrella … just having someone coordinating our response is going to be key.”

The district is using state and federal relief funding to pay for the position.

Selfors said Bredesen has the right background to handle the situation. Bredesen has experience as a nurse manager as well as training in incident command disaster preparedness through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Selfors said having the position will allow the rest of the district’s staff to focus on their other priorities.

“I know that their plates are full,” Selfors said of the administrative team. “Being mindful of work-life balance for those individuals, as well as all our staff, was important to me.”

Jordan Shearer covers K-12 education for the Post Bulletin. A Rochester native, he graduated from Bemidji State University in 2013 before heading out to write for a small newsroom in the boonies of western Nebraska. Bringing things full circle, he returned to Rochester in 2020 just shy of a decade after leaving. Readers can reach Jordan at 507-285-7710 or
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