From classroom trends to school board decisions, Class Act will keep you updated on all the school issues followed by the Star Tribune’s education reporters. Contributors include Steve Brandt, who covers Minneapolis; Kim McGuire, who covers the west metro; Erin Adler, who covers the south metro; Anthony Lonetree and Libor Jany, who cover St. Paul and the east metro, and Paul Levy and Shannon Prather, who cover the north metro.

District 833 seeks to fill top positions

Posted by: Libor Jany Updated: April 17, 2014 - 5:52 PM

District 833 officials are looking to fill three key positions, with the imminent departures of two assistant superintendents and a longtime school board member.

The latest to announce his departure was Jim Gelbmann, the district’s longest-serving school board member, who revealed his decision at the board’s April 10 meeting. Gelbmann, whose day job is committee administrator for the state House of Representatives Government Operations and Elections committees, said he will remain on the board of the East Metro Integration District (EMID), a consortium of 10 metro-area school districts.

“Prior to Jim Gelbmann’s resignation, we were aware that he was not planning on running for another term as his youngest daughter is graduating. He knew he would be ready to complete his service on the Board. His decision to leave earlier is understandable given the comments he shared at the April 10 meeting regarding his decision,” Superintendent Keith Jacobus said in an emailed statement. “We appreciate the time and energy Jim has dedicated to the students, staff and community members of District 833, through his service on the School Board. He has served on both the District 833 Board, and the East Metro Integration School Board, impacting many decisions over the years. His link to the legislature has proven to support much of his work on our School Board. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Gelbmann’s resignation came after several board members raised concerns about his chronic absences from meetings (Gelbmann says he missed 20 meetings in two years due to illness and “a demanding work schedule”), Gelbmann said earlier this week.

Also leaving are Keith Ryskoski, assistant superintendent of secondary education, and Dave Bernhardson, assistant superintendent of elementary education.

“Their efforts on behalf of the students, staff, parents and community members of South Washington County Schools are appreciated,” school officials said in a statement on the district’s website. “Both leaders are looking forward to new opportunities and requested a simple announcement so they could continue to focus on serving the students in our district as they complete the school year.”

Bernhardson has been mentioned as a candidate for the vacant superintendent post in Inver Grove Heights, according to published reports. Neither man responded to a call for comment.

All three officials will serve out the fiscal school year, which ends on June 30.

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