USC School Board surprised by resignation
Dr. Jerry Jensen, Superintendent of United South Central Schools, has announced his resignation as of June of 2016.
At last Tuesday’s School Board meeting, board chair Kathy Krebsbach mentioned there was one additional resignation to add to the list of resignations, contracts and leave requests.
Once this portion of the agenda was addressed, Krebsbach made the announcement of Dr. Jensen’s resignation. Jensen says his reason for his resignation this coming summer is to begin his retirement.
Krebsbach read a formal thank you from Jensen during the meeting.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and want to thank you for the opportunity to serve the district for the past seven years. This is a great school and community filled with equally great students, staff, parents, and community residents. I am especially appreciative of the school board members I have had the privilege to work with.”
Jensen’s letter went on to say he has grown to love the USC school community and will miss the people immensely. Jensen has felt fortunate to have been a part of the district’s improved facilities, financial condition, and performance. His letter stated that those advances were only made possible through the dedication and hard work of many, many individuals.
“It has been exciting to witness and I will cherish the memories of our many accomplishments,” Krebsbach read from Jensen’s letter. “I am confident this great district will attract many qualified candidates and stand ready to assist in any way to make a smooth transition to a new superintendent.”
With the reading of Jensen’s resignation letter, the School Board approved of Jensen’s resignation.
“We’re going to miss you, chief,” said Krebsbach who then changed the agenda to discuss the beginning process of a search for a new superintendent.
Krebsbach mentioned the last time they hired a superintendent for USC, there was a search committee involved with the process that consisted of board members, staff members, and community members.
“One of the things that you have available to you now that you didn’t before is the South Central Service Cooperative in North Mankato now assisting with superintendent searches,” Jensen shared with the board. “I know there are two individuals from nearby districts that are heading up that area.”
The board requested both the service cooperative and the Minnesota School Board Association be contacted for assistance with the superintendent hiring process.
Kelly Schlaak, USC’s high school principal, and Tracey Magnuson, the elementary school principal, both addressed the School Board to have them consider the possibility of adding an assistant principal or dean of students.
They are asking that this new position’s primary job responsibility be that of supervision, discipline, truancy, and monitoring of students.
If they choose to take this new elementary and high school position on, Schlaak and Magnuson are requesting the position be full-time. as they both are finding it more difficult to keep up with their duties as principals.
“We would love to have the opportunity to have an assistant principal or dean of students,” said Schlaak.
The principals stated they are both so bogged down by disciplinary and supervision issues, that some of their other places of focus are being neglected. Not only that, but the principals stated both the school resource officer and school social worker are also finding themselves cramped for time during the day, as well.
“I read your list of responsibilities and I’m somewhat surprised to see it as a full-time position,” said Krebsbach. “I think the fact that we have Dr. Jensen’s resignation could bleed into this issue too, whether we can take on a full-time or part-time position, both in regards to budget and time.”
“Officer Murphey is doing an amazing job, but we are finding that some of the things he could be doing for our school are being overshadowed by the disciplinary issues,” Dr. Jensen stated to the board.
Though Jensen told the board no decision had to be made that evening, there was no hesitation from both USC principals to urge the board to keep on top of their decision process.
“The sooner the better,” mentioned Magnuson.
School Board member Mike Schrader stated that the decision would take more conversation, along with more research behind the position, possibly even bringing it to the personnel committee.
The board requested information on similar positions from similar sized districts from the principals by Jan. 5.
The USC?School Board also :
Heard from Dr. Jensen regarding the failed soil tests on the old school site. He stated that they are still working to remove fill that is unacceptable and have more to dig up, along with doing more soil testing. He said there is still a lot of work to be done.
Jensen suggested getting USC’s attorney involved in a conversation with both the contractor and architect of the demolition project.
“The only reason I say that is because their attorney is engaged in the conversation already. It may be beneficial to us to get our lawyer up to speed on our situation,” stated Jensen.
The board agreed with Jensen’s decision.
Discussed the possibility of adding a required course starting fall of the 2016-17 school year. Schlaak mentioned the class would have money management, job shadowing, and career choice components to it.
Went into closed session to discuss the sale of property at the old school site. The board reconvened about 15 minutes after going into closed session.
They accepted the $10,000 bid from Milt Peterson for parcel number three, the old athletic field.
Krebsbach made sure to mention that USC retained ownership of the lights and bleachers on the parcel of property. The property will be zoned for residential use.