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Arbitration sought for Staples-Motley School District teacher

A decision to terminate the employment of a Staples-Motley school teacher is waiting for arbitration.

Kevin Coughlin appealed the Staples-Motley School District’s decision to propose termination.

Coughlin was placed on paid administrative leave on Feb. 6. Mark Schmitz, school superintendent, said the district placed Coughlin on the leave after receiving a complaint on Feb. 3.

While Schmitz previously said he couldn’t reveal information about reasons for the Coughlin’s leave, the incident or allegation leading to the complaint was of a substantial enough nature to set an investigation in motion. Coughlin was place on leave until the investigation was completed. The district hired an outside legal firm to do the investigation.

Thursday Schmitz said they are now waiting to schedule an arbitration, which is expected in the next few weeks and should be completed this summer.

Coughlin is on paid leave until the arbitration decision is rendered. Coughlin, a Staples-Motley High School social studies teacher and tennis coach, has been employed with the district since the early 1990s.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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