Underwood tackling more staffing needs
By Suzanne Werre
Discussion about staff took up the majority of Thursday night’s school board meeting in Underwood, as the board looks at trying to fill several positions for the upcoming school year.
The board is finding itself in the same situation as many schools in the state, looking for administrators to fill open positions in the school system. Another opening just came up as Principal Lee Weisgarber officially tendered his resignation at Thursday’s regular monthly meeting. Weisgarber has accepted a position with the Missouri River Educational Cooperative, and will conclude his contract with the Underwood School on June 8, culminating 26 years with the Underwood School.
In addition to Weisgarber’s resignation, the school board approved letting third-grade teacher Jared Kautzman out of his contract for the 2018-19 school year. Kautzman, who is also the varsity girls’ basketball and boys’ golf coach, has accepted a teaching position at New Salem. Kautzman has been with the Underwood School system for three years.
Supt. Dick indicated that Kautzman’s position as third-grade teacher could probably be easy to fill as one of the current teachers in the school system had indicated interest in the position. On Monday, Dick noted that school librarian Dusty Vaagene, who formerly taught second grade in Underwood, has accepted the position of third-grade teacher.
“We’re still trying to figure out how to fill the librarian position,” said Dick.
Following the acceptance of Weisgarber’s resignation, the board discussed how to fill his position, as well as that of Dean of Students Toni Cottingham, who tendered her resignation last month. There are several ways the administrative positions could be filled, noted Dick, but the elementary teachers are in favor of going back to an elementary principal and a high school principal. The school did have an elementary principal and secondary principal for several years, but most recently has had a PreK-12 Principal and a Dean of Students.