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BEA principals stepping down

July 12, 2011
Jodelle Greiner - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

BLUE EARTH - Blue Earth Area School Board accepted the resignations and retirements of two principals Monday.

The district severed ties with Jack Eustice, principal of the high school; and Kevin Grant, principal at Winnebago Elementary.

Grant's resignation takes effect July 19; Eustice's Aug. 20.

Superintendent Dale Brandsoy said the district is not, at present, negotiating with either principal.

Phone messages left at the homes of Eustice and Grant were not immediately returned Monday evening.

Turning to another matter, Brandsoy reported to the board that the district is "struggling with the state shutdown."

The district will receive state aid for July and August. How future payments are made is up in the air.

A larger problem, Brandsoy said, is getting teachers licensed by the state. The necessary state website is down and there's no one to process the paperwork.

"That is a concern I have," said Brandsoy, noting Blue Earth Area has hired a number of young teachers. "They have to have a license."

"If they don't have a license, they don't have a contract," said board member Terence Cahill.

"We won't be the only district" with that problem, predicted board member Mary Eckhardt.

"This is serious," Brandsoy warned.

Other areas also have been affected, Brandsoy said.

Adult Basic Education is operating on a fund balance. The work skills class at the jail is no longer being taught because funds are being held. Funds for Little Giants have been cut, and Brandsoy doesn't know how long the program will be able to continue.

"We're concerned," he said. "We'll have an impact there."

In other action, the board voted to prepare a document to present to the state regarding the K-8 steam heat to hot water heating conversion proposed last month by I&S Group.

"This is the first step to moving forward with this project," Brandsoy said. "It does not commit us to anything."

In other business, the board:

o Approved a bid of $130,452 from Phenomenal Networks for an upgrade proposal for district technology.

o Approved a resolution to proceed with a tuition agreement between Blue Earth Area and northern Iowa schools at $5,124 per pupil. The board grandfathered in older students already attending the district. Board member Shane Becker abstained from the vote.

o Accepted a gift of $54,000 from the estate of Florence Lutter, originally from the Granada-Huntley area. The money will be paid out over a period of months, but no stipulations were placed on how it can be spent.

o Raised the price of food service meals by 5 cents.



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