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ISD 181: Leave of absence denied

A Brainerd High School science teacher was not granted his request for a two-year leave to pursue a teaching position at a military school in the South Pacific.

A Brainerd High School science teacher was not granted his request for a two-year leave to pursue a teaching position at a military school in the South Pacific.

The Brainerd School Board voted 3-3 Monday on a request for a two-year leave of absence for Dan Clabo, a biology/environmental teacher who has been a teacher in the school district for 24 years. A motion must have a majority of the votes in order to pass, so the request was denied. Board members Tom Haglin, Sue Kern and Reed Campbell voted in favor of the request and Chris Robinson, Bob Nystrom and Ruth Nelson voted against it.

Robinson and Nystrom both said they do not support the request for a leave of absence because it is disruptive to staff to have the permanent teacher leave for two years and have someone come in temporarily. They also said the school district, under the leadership of former superintendent Steve Razildo, had agreed to not approve leave of absences anymore because of the disruption and the fact the school was getting a high amount of requests for a leave of absence.

"Education is the only profession that allows this," Nystrom said. "I cannot support this."

Nelson was concerned about the timing of the request. Typically the requests are brought before the school board earlier than in late April. Nelson was concerned about finding a qualified candidate to replace the science teacher if the request was approved. Nelson asked Willy Severson, director of schools, if he was concerned about finding a replacement this late in the game. Severson said he was concerned as it is a high school science position.

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If the request were approved, Severson said "It would be a risk we would take," on finding a qualified candidate so late in the school year.

In other school business, the board discussed their meeting schedules and if they were meeting enough or not enough. Superintendent Klint Willert said he was approached with the question on the board's scheduled meeting.

The board discussed whether they stick with their regular meetings once a month and their committee meetings that are scheduled when needed. The board took no action, but members agreed to not change their structure as it worked for them.

Met in a closed session to discuss a student matter and private educational data of a student. The board was in a closed session for about an hour. When the board chair opened the meeting back up, the board adjourned, taking no action.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl .

Related Topics: BRAINERD HIGH SCHOOL
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