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Wadena-Deer Creek school cuts 13 staff members

WADENA - Wrestling with the twin problems of declining enrollment and a reduction of state funding that could reach 7 percent for the 2009-10 school year, the Wadena-Deer Creek school board eliminated 13 staff positions at its Monday meeting.

The WDC board terminated the contracts of probationary teachers Scott Endres (Secondary Social Studies), Amy Friedrichs (Grade 6), Kali Sagedahl (Grade 1) and Kristina Witthuhn (ECSE/Speech Language Support).

Placed on unrequested leave were teachers Sandy Bain (Secondary Business Education), Curt Grenier (Secondary Industrial Arts/Business Education), Elizabeth Hawkins (Secondary English), Katie Kabes (Elementary Music), Laurie Kopischke-Pulju (Secondary Art), Kelly Shrode (Seconday Science), Lisa Winter (Secondary German) and administrator Brian Silbernick (Assistant Principal/Activities Director).

The position of Coordinator of Curriculum, held by former teacher Ruth Clark, was terminated. Her duties will be picked up by secondary principal Tyler Church and elementary principal Louis Rutten.

School boards must notify the state of staff cuts in April. Teachers and administrators placed on unrequested leave can be retained by the school district at a later date if their positions can be funded.

The contracts of the staff members affected by the cuts end on June 30.

The board also voted to accept the resignations of Curtis Ronneberg (Secondary Math), Bonnie Ealy (Secondary Library Clerk) and Karen Girard (Elementary Paraprofessional), a lane change for Richard Mukala (Secondary Industrial Arts) and contract changes for Sandy Bain (Secondary Business Education) and Laura Kiser (Counselor).