BEA works to replace superintendent
The search for a new superintendent to replace Dr. Evan Gough officially began this past week. Gough has been hired as the new superintendent at Goodhue effective Jan. 1, 2019.
A special School Board meeting was held Tuesday, Nov. 20 for the sole purpose of formally accepting Gough’s resignation.
In his resignation letter Gough thanked the current and past board members for the opportunity to serve the Blue Earth Area School District. He also stated that he would be available after Jan. 1, 2019 to assist with the transition.
Gough’s last official day as superintendent will be Dec. 31.
The BEA School Board held a regularly scheduled board meeting the previous day, Monday, Nov. 19. The Goodhue School Board was also meeting that day to officially approve Gough’s contract thus necessitating the special meeting the next day to accept his resignation from Blue Earth Area.
Harold Remme with the South Central Service Cooperative (SCSC) was present Monday night to provide the School Board with an overview of the process and timeline for hiring an interim superintendent.
Board member Shelia Ripley reminded fellow board members that a superintendent, whether interim or permanent, is required by law to be in place by Jan. 1.
The proposed timeline begins Nov. 21 with the posting for the interim superintendent position. It will be posted on three websites, the Education Minnesota website, the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) website and the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA). The SCSC will also utilize personal contacts in seeking out someone to fill the position of interim superintendent.
Next on the timeline will be approving up to three candidates to be interviewed. This is to be completed by Dec. 10.
The actual interviews would take place on Dec. 13 along with approving a contract offer to an interim candidate.
A special School Board meeting would need to be held before Dec. 31 to approve the interim superintendent contract.
Remme explained the likely candidates would come from retired superintendents, unemployed but active superintendents or someone with minimal experience having the correct licensure to be a superintendent.
A search for a permanent superintendent should begin in late January or early February.
“The SCSC has been doing searches for 11 years,” Remme stated. “As a member of the SCSC, BEA will incur only a minimal cost, and that is the cost for the duplication of materials.”
Following Remme’s presentation the board unanimously passed a motion to approve SCSC to begin the process of searching for an interim superintendent.
It was also announced at the meeting that Frankie Bly is one of six people from the state elected to the All-State School Board this year. Former board member Mary Eckhardt is the only other past BEA board member to receive this honor.
Counselor Patti Lindsey gave a report at the meeting on preparing students for entering college.
It is a goal of the school to have each student that is pursuing a college degree to be able to meet the standards required by the college. This helps alleviate the need for the student to take remedial classes at the college, she said.
To help facilitate this, an effort is being made to make parents and students aware of college requirements as early as eighth grade. Lindsey went on to explain that this gives the child time to chart their academic course and to be sure they meet the benchmarks needed to be ready for college.
Middle school principal Melissa McGuire and high school principal Greg Ewing reported on the Minnesota Rural Education Association conference they attended. They sat in on seminars dealing with personalized learning, transitioning from elementary to secondary education, creating strategies for increasing rigor, challenges for making school changes and alternatives to suspension.
Principal Ewing also congratulated Grant Strukel on qualifying for the state cross-country meet and being a member of the Academic All-State cross-country team.
Ewing, along with many other faculty and School Board members, praised the BEA High Schools’ presentation of the musical “Snoopy.”
Thanks was also given by multiple people to the Blue Earth Ministerial Association for partnering with BEA to present the “Connect” movie at the Performing Arts Center.
During the public comment part of the meeting, David Kittleson, a retired fifth grade teacher at Blue Earth Area, inquired about the possibility of adding a bike trail along the north and east part of the parking lot at the high school when the parking lot itself is resurfaced. According to Kittleson, it would serve as a way to connect other trails.
Kittleson, a member of the Active Living Coalition, also serves on the Parks and Recreation Committee for Blue Earth.
In other public comments, Naomi Ochsendorf asked for transparency when dealing with discipline issues including outlining what criteria is used when making decisions regarding school discipline.
In other business, the board voted to:
Approve Melissa McGuire to be designated the Local Educational Agency (LEA) representative for BEA school.
Approved the contract for David Kittleson as the Gifted and Talented Coordinator.
Approved the retirement of custodian Donald Kiewet. Kiewet was with the school for 15.5 years.
Approved the retirement of Randy Kuechenmeister as physical education teacher. Kuechenmeister has taught 32.5 years. Although retiring from teaching, Kuechenmeister would like to retain his coaching duties.