Five more Brainerd teachers will be placed on unrequested leave, joining the 57 probationary teachers who will lose their jobs due to budget reductions, the Brainerd School Board Curriculum Committee learned Thursday.
The committee also heard the administrative reductions planned for the upcoming school year, although action won't be taken on these reductions until May.
Curriculum committee members recommended approval of unrequested leaves for 4.4 full-time-equivalent teachers. The board is expected to approve the list at Monday's board meeting. These full-time teachers include Mike Reeser, Brainerd High School agriculture teacher; Elizabeth Aulie, BHS French teacher; Brian Stubbs, BHS choral instructor; and Dee Eschenbacher-Hondl, BHS marketing teacher. The contract for Elizabeth Santi, Forestview family and consumer science teacher, will be reduced from full-time to a .4 FTE position.
Committee chair and board member Ruth Gmeinder said she and other board members have gotten numerous anonymous letters accusing them of not valuing teachers and what they do. She said this couldn't be further from the truth.
"We value each and every one of these positions and we truly wish we did not have to do this," said Gmeinder.
Committee and board member Ruth Nelson commended administrators for all the work they have done on making these tough budget reductions.
"It doesn't help these five individuals at all but I know you put in late hours on this," said Nelson.
Superintendent Jerry Walseth also gave a presentation on the administrative reductions planned for next year as part of the $5.5 million in reductions required in light of the failed levy referendum last November. He said they'd like to bring the recommendations back to the committee and school board for approval in May after the newly hired superintendent has a chance to review them and make possible changes or adjustments.
Administrative reductions, totaling $318,864, include reducing 3 FTE administrative positions.
Those reductions include the following:
A .5 FTE elementary principal, which will be the non-renewal of Nisswa Elementary Principal Terry Hermanson's contract for next fall. With the closure of Whittier and Lincoln elementary schools, there will be a full-time principal at the six remaining buildings next fall, eliminating the .5 FTE position, said Walseth.
A full-time principal at Forestview Middle School, reducing the administrative team to three people. Carol Pasanen, who recently accepted a position with the Paul Bunyan Cooperative, is not being replaced and Donna Whalen will serve as principal for fifth- through eighth-grades.
A .5 FTE program administrator at the Minnesota Learning Center. George Tetreault, who plans to retire as MLC program administrator this summer, has been employed .5 FTE through the school district and .5 FTE through the Paul Bunyan Cooperative. Nancy Anderson, his assistant who works as a half-time assistant and half-time administrator, will assume his position but with Tetreault's departure, a .5 position will be eliminated, said Walseth.
A full-time elementary curriculum coordinator position will be reduced. Pat Altrichter is retiring this summer from the position.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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