School Board puts six NLS, Minn., teachers on leave, as budget cuts continue

/ 1 May 2012 / jennifer

Gretchen Schlosser, West Central Tribune, May 1, 2012 –

NEW LONDON — The New London-Spicer School Board approved resolutions Monday to put four tenured teachers on unrequested leave and terminating the contracts for two probationary teachers.

The tenured teachers include Kim Andresen, 0.5 full-time equivalent Spanish teacher; Trish Hanson, 0.4 FTE speech/language teacher; Susan Sunde, 0.17 FTE middle school FACS teacher; and Cassandra Kentzelman, middle school language arts teacher, also a 0.17 FTE position.

The two probationary teachers are Grant Bergstrom, middle school art teacher; and Marcia Knutson, Prairie Woods Elementary English Language Learner/reading teacher.

Both resolutions passed on 7-0 votes, with board members Robert Moller, Helena Lungstrom, Dan DeGeest, Renee Nolting, David Kilpatrick, Holli Cogelow Ruter and Michael O’Brien voting for the resolutions.

The action is the latest step in the district’s budget cuts for the 2012-13 school year. At its April 9 meeting, the board passed a resolution to cut $258,517 for the coming year.

Superintendent Paul Carlson noted that the 0.8 FTE special education teaching position cuts were made through attrition.

The board had expected to make between $130,000 and $200,000 in budget cuts this year, but the amount was increased because the district needs to hire an additional sixth-grade teacher next year to compensate for a larger class coming into that grade.

The board also accepted a letter of resignation from Andrew Paulson, high school industrial technology teacher, who was also instrumental in starting the district’s robotics program. Paulson, who worked at NLS for eight years, has accepted a job with another school district, Carlson said.

The board also accepted letters of resignation for Wendy Kidd, part-time licensed practical nurse at Prairie Woods, and Lisa Wendlandt, part-time technology aide.

In other action, the board:

n Approved the middle school student trip to Boston in June 2013. Middle school Principal Trish Perry informed the board that 15 people, including three chaperones, are going to New York City this summer. The Boston trip will be the fourth available to students, Perry said, with rotating opportunities also including visiting Washington, D.C.

n Received information that the district’s educational support professionals are giving notice to negotiate with the district. Carlson noted that principal’s union has also given the notice.