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District Mulling Options

By Staff | Mar 8, 2012

RUTHVEN – The Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School District will be looking for a new leader for the upcoming school year. At a school board meeting Feb. 28, Dr. Norene Bunt tendered her resignation as Superintendent of the Ruthven-Ayrshire Community Schools, effective June 30, 2012.

A special school board meeting on Tuesday set the scene as several staff members from the district and numerous community residents were on hand for the meeting. One of the agenda items of the meeting called for a Closed Session for a Personnel Evaluation.

The closed session was conducted in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 21.5(i) “To evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance or discharge is being considered when necessary to prevent needless and irreparable injury to that individual’s reputation and that individual requests a closed session.”

The closed session reportedly lasted around 15 minutes. After coming out of closed session, School Board President Ray Grandstaff announced that Dr. Bunt had submitted her resignation. A vote on the resignation was conducted in open session, with board members Larry Conlon, Tracy Enderson, Katie Meyer, Tammy Chapman and Barry Fischer voting to accept the resignation and members Ray Grandstaff and Susan Sikora voting nay, The resignation was duly accepted on a 5-2 vote. Dr. Bunt’s last day in the district will be at the close of the current school year on June 30.

Comments were taken from the public prior to the closed session during a forum moderated by Les Douma of D&M Consulting Services of Orange City. The forum addressed topics including the role and responsibilities of the school board, as well as the district’s recent accomplishments, challenges and struggles faced during the past few years. Numerous comments addressed changes that had occurred in the district that played a role in the departure of roughly half of the high school faculty and several other staff of the district.

Officials pointed out that budgetary concerns, requiring the reduction of some $200,000 from the budget were difficult to make, causing discontent both in the school and community. But, those cuts were part of a plan to reduce Ruthven-Ayrshire’s expenses and improve the district’s solvency ratio. That goal was accomplished in the 2011 school year, the first time in a four-year span, according to Board President Grandstaff.

While the Ruthven-Ayrshire board has no immediate plans to secure a replacement, the process will likely be on the March agenda, with that meeting set for Monday, March 12.