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Hancock school board accepts resignations

May is often the time of year when teachers, administrators and staff at schools are making plans for the following school year. Before that last day arrives, many decisions need to be made about the next year. Some of these include whether or not they plan to resign, retire or look for other employment.

At their meeting on Monday night, the Hancock School Board members dealt with some of the decisions made by employees. They accepted resignations, decided on teminations, made appointments and planned to recognized those retiring or moving on. The reception for the staff members leaving was held on Tuesday.

Three resignations were accepted with two of those not returning at all next year. Jan Malo submitted a resignation as van driver, Char Rustad resigned as speech coach and Adam Steege resigned from the .345 position and as Athletic Director. Jayna Ruprecht will replace Rustad as the speech coach next year.

Earlier in the meeting, Steege had sent a letter to the board waiving his rights to a hearing regarding his unrequested leave of absence from the district. Instead, the board was presented with a separation agreement which allowed Steege to resign based on an agreement reached with the district.

Supt. Jerry  Martinsen explained that the agreement would include compensation that amounted to about one year’s salary. By agreeing to this, the district would avoid the expense of a hearing and the cost of attorney fees. The compensation would release the district of any further claims and ties with the district. Steege would also be able to move on with some financial help while looking for a job.

After approving the separation agreement, the board also approved the resignation of Steege from the remainder of his position at the school. There was no discussion about the future of the shop and ag programs due to his resignation.

The board also approved the teacher assignments, extra assignments and classified staff for next year and noted that some positions still need to be filled. The board will probably be making a decision in August about which classes Jayna Ruprecht, Hannah Plattner and Kathy Brenny will be teaching. It will depend on the number of students in the various elementary classes predicted at the start of the school year. These teachers will be employed in Hancock but it is still not known at what grade level. Principal Tim Pahl told the board that there continues to be families visiting the district about open enrollment and a lot will depend on which grades these students fall into.

The board also approved two terminations for classified employees who had been notified of the plan to not rehire them. These employees were Robin Anderson as a para and Chrystel Davis as bus driver.

Foundation grants

Seven requests for Hancock Foundation funds were approved. These included:

Minnesota Careers Exploration Guide requested by Karla Cronen

Six guitars for the sixth grade guitar class by Kris Miller

Prairie Fire Theatre by Lynn Nelson

Quick Reads Reading Curriculum by Lisa Menninger

Laptop computer for third grade by Amy Brown

Additional elementary iPads and cases by Hannah Plattner

Science enhancement third year course by Char Rustad, Amy Brown and Lynn Nelson

Preliminary budget

The budget committee met and recommended a preliminary budget in the amount of $3,944,340. This preliminary budget is needed in order to order supplies for the coming year. The budget committee will continue to work on this into July and hopefully get better numbers before the final budget is approved at that time.

The committee members expressed optimism that the district continues to have rising enrollment but wants to make sure that if the tide turns, the district is ready for that possibility.