By Emily Bialkowski
The resignation of Caledonia Athletic Director Dave Meyer brought a contingent of coaches to the April 15 School Board meeting where they asked board members to not approve the personnel item.
“We want to know what’s going on with Dave’s resignation, and we want you to know we support him. Dave is a huge asset for us, and I’d like you to vote no on his resignation,” head boys golf coach Jeremy Leis said.
“The only time we’re here is when quality people have left this district. I feel like there’s always this wall between coaches and the school board. I want to open the door to work together,” head football coach Brent Schroeder added.
Coaches Josh Diersen and Jimmy Westland also lauded Meyer’s work, saying they hated to see him leave the position.
Meyer is the third athletic director Caledonia has had, his predecessors being Bob Stark and Ken Van Den Boom. Meyer is a Caledonia native who, in a follow-up interview, said, “This was not an easy resignation for me. I love the coaching staff, kids and parents.”
When it came time to vote on the matter, the board unanimously accepted Meyer’s resignation as athletic director without comment. He will continue to teach middle school social studies.
Other personnel items
Difficult discussion continued when the board had to adopt formal measures to notify the teachers affected by budget cuts.
Several teachers received nonrenewal notices for their contracts, and teachers with more seniority received unrequested leave of absence notifications.
The following teachers were affected:
–Jessie Emerson, nonrenewal, high school science, unanimous vote
–Stacey Meyer, nonrenewal notice, middle school English/ESL, unanimous vote
–Tory-Kale Schulz, nonrenewal notice, kindergarten/first grade teacher, McGraw voting no
–Tina Fruechte, unrequested leave of absence, middle school math, language arts and social studies, McGraw voting no
–Zachariah Hauser, unrequested leave of absence, middle school physical education and health, unanimous vote
–Lindsey Meyer, unrequested leave of absence, fourth grade, McGraw voting no.
In the public comment section of the meeting teacher Tory-Kale Schulz addressed the board about his layoff.
“I want to say thank you to Mr. Barton and to all of you for approving me for a job last fall. I believe I’ve done a lot this year to uphold everything I set to do on my cover letter. I know it’s not personal – I understand it’s business – I just hope I’m looked upon favorably if something should open up in the future,” Schulz said.
Board Chair Michelle Werner thanked Schulz for his effort. “You have been an asset to the district,” she said.
Schulz holds the only full-time position eliminated by budget cuts. He advises the National Honor Society and spearheaded Project Moove to raise funds for elementary students unable to afford milk at break time. The effort was successful and secured $4,512.
The cuts are a direct result of declining student enrollment and a projected loss of 40 students for the 2013-14 school year. Other cuts include:
• Subtract .2278 middle and high school business
• Subtract .3432 high school English
• Subtract .2574 middle and high school PE/Health
• Subtract .1716 high school science
• Subtract 1 elementary K-1 position
• Subtract .1716 elementary PE
“That was extremely painful for everyone in this room,” Superintendent Ben Barton said after all votes were tallied. “It’s our goal to try and bring back as many of these people as we can. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of the answers right now. We have a lot of initiatives in the works that could potentially bring back some of these staff. Hopefully next month I’m coming back with more certain answers.”
The final personnel items on the night included:
• Hire Tim Colleran as the head girls soccer coach beginning the 2013-14 school year at a cost of $3,542.
• Accept the resignation of Joanne Zard effective June 3 with thanks for her 27 years of service to the school district.