A more concrete timeline and other details of the Brainerd superintendent search were spelled out Thursday. The Brainerd School Board met with School Exec Connect, an Illinois-based firm that specializes in placing school leaders in districts, to better lay out what’s to come in the next few months as officials look for a replacement for current Superintendent Steve Razidlo. Razidlo recently announced his resignation effective at the end of the school year. He accepted a three-year contract as superintendent at The American International School in Vienna, Austria.
A first-of-its-kind prevention strategy for prenatal exposure to alcohol is ready to be unveiled in the Brainerd lakes area. All that’s needed is a mom-to-be willing to take part. “There is literally nowhere else where this is happening in a community. There have only been a few clinical studies in medical institutions,” said Jody Allen Crowe, founder and president of Healthy Brains for Children, the organization heading the effort. The prevention strategy is called “My Baby’s Breath.”
An administrative law judge has dismissed a complaint against Brainerd City Council member Gary Scheeler. The complaint, alleging Scheeler used bribery while campaigning for his position last year, has no evidence, ruled Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings Judge LauraSue Schlatter. “It was not a credible complaint. It was a personal vendetta against me,” Scheeler said. He added, “Only a person with a vendetta can turn an act of kindness into something evil.”
It’s been a long time in the making. Now Brainerd Public School Foundation (BPSF) leaders are ready to unveil what they’ve been crafting for the past couple of years. And they’re calling it The Big Event. Organizers have long wanted a signature event for the foundation. An annual event that serves as its largest fundraiser and most visible way to promote its mission. “It’s a way to show what our schools have achieved,” said Jill Neumann, executive director of the BPSF. The event had to be unique. It had to stand out above everything else. It had to be big.
Special education and facility upkeep funding should be on the list of priorities for representatives. That was the message Thursday as Brainerd school officials voiced their concerns to local representatives for the next legislative session. At the district’s Legislative Committee meeting Thursday, local representatives in attendance were: Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby, Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, and Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd.
A professional firm will head the search process for the next superintendent of the Brainerd School District. At a special School Board meeting Thursday, the group approved going with School Exec Connect, an Illinois-based firm that specializes in placing school leaders in districts. The vote is contingent on legal review of the contract and possible final contract negotiations.
Brainerd leaders have responded to a former council member’s suggestions in how to fund improvement projects. At the first January Brainerd City Council meeting, former Brainerd City Council member and Mayor Bob Olson presented alternative ways for the city to complete projects, which where halted because of a petition he helped circulate to stop the capital improvement bonds.
At Tuesday’s Brainerd City Council meeting council members approved a resolution ordering the improvements and preparation of plans and specifications for three street projects. City officials will advertise for bids, returnable March 12. A public hearing was held at the meeting Tuesday, where one property owner and developer spoke to the project on Old Stonebridge Court and Old Stonebridge Trail. There were three street resurfacing projects approved: • Willow Street between South Seventh and South 13th streets.
Brainerd School District leaders may ask the city or hospital if there is interest in taking on the old Whittier school building. At the Facilities Committee meeting Tuesday, the group voted to approach the city of Brainerd and Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, and ask if either entity is interested in taking over ownership of the vacant school building. The vote goes before the full school board for final approval.
Ironton city officials want to revitalize the dwindling city, so they’re working to pull together a fresh comprehensive plan and downtown design. That will hopefully help grow the quiet community. “We don’t have a large downtown area. It’s slowing, diminishing, but we don’t want that to happen. We don’t want to see businesses leave. We don’t have many businesses left anymore,” said Ironton Mayor Dean French.