EL-GHS principal Brown resigns

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE — “I regretfully ask you to accept the resignation of Jim Brown as High School Principal.”

District Superintendent Dr. Ann Buechel Haack made this announcement at Monday night’s school board meeting.

Buechel Haack said that Brown indicated, in his letter, that he would assist with transitional matters and with summer school.

“I don’t want anyone to think that I’m leaving because this isn’t a good place,” Brown said. His intention was to work at EL-G until retirement, but “I didn’t know I was going to end up getting remarried” and gain a step-son and -daughter.

“Part of my being a principal is going to all the events,” Brown said. He said his new direction in life would not allow that, and “that’s not the principal that I want to be. It has nothing to do with quality of school. I’ve always told the staff and the kids this is the best place I’ve ever taught at. I’m just hoping that the place I’m going is anywhere near what this is.”

The board unanimously accepted Brown’s letter of resignation, with regrets.

Instructor Nikolai Yasko and students Jade and Summer Henschel gave the board a wrap-up of the Forensics season, which had recently ended.

“We had a large group of kids this year,” Yasko said. Five students made it to the state competition in Madison: Paige Nelson, Jade Henschel, Summer Henschel, Andrew Sitko, and Sandy Skuljuengcharoen. (Skuljuengcharoen is an exchange student from Thailand; English is her second language.)

“This is a nice end to a very good season,” Yasko said.

Instructor Lei Lund told the board about the Great World Texts program, which is run through the English department of UW-Milwaukee. The subject book of this state-wide program was “Journey to the West,” by Wu Cheng’en, first published in China in 1592.

Students did projects based on the book. Some were computer-based (one was similar to a Facebook page). Lund had several dioramas and posters on display for the board.

Buechel Haack reviewed went over the 2015-16 and 2016-17 budgets with the board, highlighting some of the trends and implications thereof.

Donations to the school system in May included several cash donations, plus a potter’s wheel for the High School art department. The board voted unanimously to accept the donations, and expressed appreciation for the donors.

The board heard a summary of maintenance projects scheduled for this summer, and unanimously approved several bids for painting and carpeting jobs. Several potential projects for the coming school year were also reviewed.

The board discussed proposed revisions to the Certified Staff Compensation Plan, which had been worked on by several instructors. These revisions were partly based on comparisons with other districts. When board member Scott Heinig questioned whether starting pay was a little too high, instructors Lund and John Ostermann replied they thought it was reasonable, and that pay increases were based on merit. The board approved the revisions, with Heinig voting against.

Activities for grades JK through 8 for the past month, reported by Elementary Principal Deb Hammann, included an annual Arbor Day observation; seventh-graders visiting their adopted grandparents at Rocky Knoll; a hike through the Kettle Moraine by the eighth-graders; a sixthgrade music recital; a trip by the Kindergartners to the Woodland Dunes in Two Rivers; a visit to the Appleton planetarium by the fourth-graders; and a coming Drama Club performance.

High school activities as reported by Principal Jim Brown included a long list of participants in Solo Ensemble who earned gold or firstplace ratings; completion of ACT Aspire testing; a coming civics exam; Scholarship Awards Night; Fine Arts Awards Night; the coming spring concert; Saturday night’s prom, which had as its theme “Candyland.”

The board reviewed, discussed, and unanimously approved:

• Open enrollment application approvals.

• CESA 7 contract approval.

• Revisions to the 2016-17 student handbooks for both Elementary and High School.

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