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St. Croix Central AD resigns, district hires new elementary assistant principal

St. Croix Central

The St. Croix Central school board approved a series of resignations and hirings as part of its consent agenda during its March 20 regular meeting. Two of those approvals saw the district's athletic director, assistant high school principal and transportation director, Jeremy Kerg, resign, while the district hired Lindsay Jacobs as the new elementary assistant principal to replace Shelly Clay, who will be taking over as principal at the elementary school next fall.

"The high school assistant principal, transportation director and activities director position is a stressful one. It was a situation where Jeremy was a little burned out by being in charge of all of those things," said superintendent Tim Widiker in a phone interview on Tuesday morning. "We are looking at giving the next person we hire in that position more support and possibly taking some of those duties and titles off of their plate and transferring them to another position in order to make sure we are learning from this going forward."

Widiker said the position was posted internally on Tuesday and the district will look to make the new hire's skill sets to the position and see what they can do in order to make sure the situation doesn't repeat itself in the future.

Widiker also reported that the district is considering adding nine to 10 new positions throughout the district, but how many positions the district is able to post jobs for will depend on how the 2017-18 budget turns out. Widiker said that the staff will look at refining and updating the budget in the next few months in order to see if there isn't space to hire someone in all of the positions the district is considering.

"The great thing about being in a situation where we are discussing how many new positions we can add is that we have been in the opposite situation many times in the past where we have had to discuss how many positions we would need to reduce to balance the budget," Widiker said. "My philosophy is that people make the biggest difference when it comes to the success of our students, not the programs we offer or the buildings we have in our district. When we can talk about adding positions to help better support our students that is exciting."

The board also heard presentations from Eagle Scout and SCC student Tyler Olsen, a presentation on loving literacy from a group of elementary teachers and a school enrollment projection presentation by Sarah Kemp from the UW-Madison Applied Population Laboratory.

"We had some really great presentations at the meeting," Widiker said. "Tyler proposed a project where he would create little gardens with blocks and flowers at a couple different locations in the district, including around the flagpole at the high school. The loving literature presentation was great and really reinforced all of the things we are doing throughout the district."

Widiker said the district is seeing an increase, according to 2015 numbers, in housing starts, which is a good thing, but the data doesn't state how many of those homes have school-age children in them who would enroll in the district. The report also showed that birth rates are on a decline, but Widiker also warned that those numbers don't factor in the number of people who have moved into the community since 2015, or those who will move into the community in the future.

"All of the things we heard from the enrollment projections report just reinforce the fact that we are a destination community and that we need to continue to build on our successes to make our community and district more attractive to prospective families who might move into town in the future," Widiker said.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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