The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer board accepts superintendent's resignation


January 8, 2020

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

MEMBERS OF the Bessemer Area Board of Education's Personnel Committee are shown after voting Tuesday evening to accept the resignation of Dave Wineburner, who began as superintendent for the district in the summer of 2018. Board Vice President Annette Lillie, who is also a member of the personnel committee, is not shown.


Bessemer - After two separate closed sessions during a special meeting on Tuesday evening, the Bessemer Area Board of Education voted to accept the resignation of Dave Wineburner, who had been hired for the position in the summer of 2018.

All board members were present for the unanimous vote, which followed a motion by Board Secretary Beth Steiger, who also chairs the board's personnel committee.

Wineburner was not present. Nor was Alan Tulppo, the superintendent of the Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District.

Tulppo has been serving as Bessemer's interim superintendent since the board placed Wineburner on paid leave on Oct. 10, 2019.

The vote accepted not only Wineburner's Jan. 7 letter of resignation, but also a separation agreement.

No explanation for the action was offered during the meeting.

Afterward, Board President Bob Berg deferred any comments to Steiger, who told the Globe that the board had been investigating possible "board policy violations." She declined to elaborate.

When asked whether Wineburner had been asked to resign, Steiger said, "Mr. Wineburner issued his voluntary resignation. At this point, we're separating ways, and we wish him the best."

Steiger added that a formal, written announcement of the action will be issued to district staff today.

She said that board members also plan to meet with Tulppo today regarding what action to take next in relation to seeking a new superintendent.

According to Steiger, Tulppo will continue in his interim role until the next superintendent is hired.

Annette Lillie and Jim Partanen - who are the board's vice president and treasurer respectively - also serve on the personnel committee, which includes attention to finance and negotiations.

All board members were present for the vote, including trustees Dick Matrella, Eric Stanislawski and Tara Graham.

The board first covered routine business and then, according to Berg and Steiger, entered a closed session to consider a legal opinion dated Jan. 7. Steiger said they also engaged with an attorney by phone during that time. After the phone call, they again voted to enter a second closed session to discuss the matter more before voting to accept Wineburner's resignation.

During routine business, the board:

-Voted to approve the hiring of Laura Miller as a long-term second grade substitute teacher at Washington Elementary School. According to Dan Niemi, principal of the A.D. Johnston Junior and Senior High School, Miller has been working as a student teacher at WES and will receive her college degree and teaching certification within the next week.

-Voted to accept the resignation of part-time custodian Bruce Hamberg and to post advertising for that position.

-Voted to grant Dave Rowe, ADJ Quiz Bowl advisor, his request to allow bowl members approval to stay overnight during a trip to Marquette on Jan. 23-24.

The board's next regular meeting will be on Jan. 27 at 6 p.m., and it will include annual reorganizational matters. The public is invited to the session, which will be in the ADJ media center.

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