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School board approves posting for principal


Katie Perttunen/Daily Globe

Bessemer Area School Board of Education members Sheri Graham, Al Gaiss and Robert Berg work to answer questions from teachers and community members at Wednesday’s special board meeting.

BESSEMER — The Bessemer Area School Board of Education has some difficult decisions to make, and not a lot of time to make them, which resulted in a special board meeting on Wednesday night.

The board approved posting for a high school principal, as they received district administrator Mark Johnson’s resignation late Sunday evening. Former board member Tim France said that the board got notice of Johnson’s intent to accept a different position on May 20. Board member Bill McDonald said that he knew in June. Board president Robert Berg said that the board did not know of Johnson’s intent to resign until Sunday evening.

Jim Trudgeon said that he was “thoroughly disgusted” with the way Johnson was treated.

Berg said that it has come to his attention that members of the board have been contacting members of the Chetek school board to discuss Johnson. Johnson accepted a position to serve as district administrator in the Chetek-Weyerhauser school district in Wisconsin beginning July 1. The board members’ actions resulted in the entire board receiving a copy of a policy prohibiting such communications at Monday’s board meeting.

The board agreed to reassign Jill Carver from sixth grade to fourth grade teacher, to assign Debbie Lekies to developmental first grade from Title 1 and Gene Goss was reassigned to Title 1 from fourth grade. Lekies and head teacher Diana Hansen were upset about the changes, as they found out about them Tuesday morning.

Hansen said that other staff members knew about the reassignments before school was out for the year, and that it was handled very secretively. Board member Al Gaiss said that it was one of the hardest decisions that the board has faced.

In other business:

— The board approved posting a position for an elementary and junior high special education position.

— Berg was added as a signer for the high school activity account at the First National Bank.

— An agreement with the Gogebic Ontonagon Intermediate School District was approved, in which GOISD will provide iPads to first graders at no cost.

— The board renewed a yearly lease agreement of two classrooms at Washington Elementary to the GOISD for $10,276.

— Fall sports appointments were approved. Mark Mazzon will serve as head coach for high school football, with Mark Movrich and Jim Dahlin serving as varsity assistant and junior varsity coaches. Shelly Mettler will serve as head coach for volleyball, with Lori Bennetts as junior varsity coach. Ashley Whitburn and Brittany Bennetts will be co-advisors of the high school cheerleading squad.


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