Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Barnum seeks applicants for principal position for fall 2018


The Barnum School Board agreed by a motion to advertise for applications for an elementary principal at the monthly board meeting on Tuesday, April 17.

The former elementary principal, Tom Cawcutt, wrote a letter of resignation shortly after he was placed on paid leave in January after allegations had been received about him. A report from the school district’s law firm after an investigation was considered by the school board on April 5. The board accepted Cawcutt’s letter of resignation and Separation Agreement and Releases of All Claims.

Although the board approved advertising for applications for an elementary principal, several board members suggested other options, such as the principal’s duties being performed by teaching staff, also be explored.

Scott Anderson, the interim elementary principal, was thanked by Board Chair Paul Coughin for stepping in after Cawcutt was placed on leave.

“We will have an open process, take applications and see where this position can go,” added Coughlin. “I’d like to see a longer contract.”

Board Member Pat Poirier agreed.

A committee of three board members and three elementary teachers will consider the options and applicants. The board members are Coughlin, Poirier, Jessica Unkelhauser and Tim Peterson as an alternate.

If it is decided to hire an applicant, that person will be hired in June, said Superintendent Dave Bottem.

Bottem reviewed the list of summer projects: metal wall cladding on the roof, chimney replacement, bleachers, replacing carpeting in certain rooms in the high school, painting stripes in the high school commons, painting the outside doors, carpeting the walls in one room, purchasing 100 folding chairs, replacing student desks, and paving and repairing parking lots.

A new parking lot across the street from the elementary school had been started in the fall; electricity was installed to the new parking lot and lights were repaired at the existing parking lot at a cost of $46,545, it was noted on the list of projects.

The new parking lot will be completed, and portions of existing parking lots will be replaced or repaired, including the alley between the bus garage and the elementary school. The costs of those projects total $66,300.

Athletic Director Dave Duesler reported that games for spring sports have had to be canceled because winter has continued to the middle of April.

“We’ve had a rough start this spring,” he told the board. “There are 125 kids involved in softball, baseball, track and golf, and they are all crammed into the gym. We are a month into the season. But they are keeping a positive attitude."

Duesler also informed the board that there are two other schools that have surpassed Barnum in the number of students, which could result in Barnum becoming the largest Single A school instead of competing as the smallest Double A school.

The next meeting of board was set for Tuesday, May 15, at 6:30 p.m.


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