Ozaukee High principal, six more teachers won’t be returning to district for next school year
The Northern Ozaukee School Board accepted a new list of teacher resignations Monday, setting off a new round of concerns raised by parents.
The board accepted the resignations of eight staff members at its June 20 meeting, following the May board session when the departure of three teachers was announced.
Teachers Joel Hartline, Brad Doro, Eric Liebergen, Carol Schumacher, Emily Duckert and Leah VanMinsel all submitted letters of resignation saying they did not intend to return next school year.
As was the case at last month’s meeting, Rebecca Baughman and a handful of other parents expressed their concerns about the school district losing quality teachers.
“We are wondering what is going on? Now we have 11 teachers leaving. Does this concern the board?” Baughman asked.
She said the Advanced Placement program at the high school appears to be especially hard hit by the latest resignations.
“I have teachers telling me our kids are great, so I am sure pay is an issue,” Baughman said.
If that is the case, she asked the board how it can justify spending money on such things as starting a new softball program instead of using those funds to retain quality teachers.
Supt. Dave Karrels said the district conducts exit surveys with each teacher who leaves their position, and pay rates at larger districts appear to be one of the crucial factors fueling the resignations.
That data will be analyzed to see if there are steps that can be taken by the district to retain teachers, Karrels said.
“It is always hard when you have staff leave because of the relationships we have built. It is emotional,” he said.
Karrels said the district will also be comparing salary ranges with other teachers in the Big East Conference.
Board member Tom Hoffmann said he was unprepared for the sudden surge in staff resignations.
“I had no idea that was going to be happening … it has kind of snowballed,” Hoffmann said.
In another personnel move, the board accepted the resignation of Ozaukee High Principal Joe Hastreiter, who is stepping down after one year in the position.
Hastreiter started with the district as a middle school math teacher in 2006. In the past three years, he has been an associate principal at Ozaukee Elementary and principal at Ozaukee Middle School.
Hastreiter has accepted a position teaching math in a Sun Prairie middle school, allowing him to be closer to his family.
His departure means the high school will have its fourth principal in the past four years when school starts in fall.
The board did approve hiring five replacement teachers, and three more positions are expected to be filled at the July meeting.
The new staff members include: Ellie Kaas, high school social studies; Melissa Borree, high school English; Julie Ott, middle school math; Cassandra Pacelli, choral director; and Marlena Kreunen, band director.
Karrels said district teachers joined administrators in screening the new hires.
“We are excited about the people we are bringing in,” he said.