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30 retirements expected for Brainerd School District

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Nearly 800 years of combined experience may walk out of the Brainerd School District door at the end of the year.

Within the last month, the district received 30 letters of retirement and one resignation. Of those, 27 are certified teacher/specialists, two are administrators, and two are non-certified staff.

“That’s a lot of experience walking out the door,” said superintendent Steve Razidlo.

It’s a “remarkable” number of years of service, he continued.

Two well known staff members who are retiring are Grant Wilcox, Brainerd High School orchestra director, and Willy Severson, director of schools.

Neither one could be reached for comment Friday.

Some of the soon-to-be vacant positions will take more time to fill, Razidlo said, so they should be posted as soon as possible.

The committee voted on recommending to the school board to post the following positions as soon as possible: director of schools, three speech/language pathologists, a school psychologist, and a high school orchestral director.

Board members Bob Nystrom and Chris Robinson were absent.

In other Brazinerd School Board Personnel Committee news:

• The committee agreed to look into a free two-hour training session on interest-based bargaining with the Bureau of Mediation Services. Officials would come to Brainerd for the session, which could be open to members of any bargaining group interested in looking at a different process.

• The committee approved starting the evaluation process for the superintendent. Razidlo’s salary is open for review July 1.

“Evaluations aren’t required, but they’re a good thing to do,” said Personnel Committee chairwoman Ruth Nelson.

Members of the board will get evaluation sheets, which will be compiled and reviewed later during a closed meeting.

- The committee will recommend to the school board temporarily converting back to 10-10-60 structure for co-pays in the health insurance prescription medication plan, instead of the now 10-30-60 plan.

During the last bargaining session, it was understood that if a person wasn’t able to take generic drugs, they would get the preferred brand for the cost of a generic drug co-pay, said director of business services Steve Lund. But that’s not the case.

Lund said officials will use the time before the next session to brainstorm how to provide a better incentive structure for using generics.

The estimated cost to district for interim change is about $24,000 from now until Aug. 31.

JESSICA LARSEN may be reached at or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at