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District decides fate of principals PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Poirier   
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 18:05

Noel won’t be back for 2018-2019 school year due to consolidation

As a result of the planned closing of  Grafton Elementary School after the 2017-2018 school year, the Grafton School District announced on Monday that its elementary school’s principal, Karen Noel, would not retain her position for the 2018-2019 school year.

Michael McMahon of Woodview Elementary School and Craig Gunderson of Kennedy Elementary School will remain principals at their schools. 

According to the district, Supt. Jeff Nelson and administrative staff met with each principal in an interview setting. The decision for which principals to retain was based on their work in the district as well as their vision to advance each school.

“It was a difficult decision. We tried accelerating the process so the person will have an opportunity to find a job. All three principals are very strong and bring different strengths to the table,” Nelson said. “Dr. Noel is an outstanding educator and we wish her well as she moves forward. She’s a valuable educator and she has made an impact on our kids, staff and family over the last three years.”

According to Nelson, Noel will remain with the district for the 2017-2018 school year if she does not find a suitable job this summer.

The decision by the district follows April’s $39.9 million referendum, in which voters approved the consolidation from three elementary schools to two, beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.

Grafton Elementary School will be demolished in August of 2018 after the construction at Kennedy and Woodview is complete, which is part of the district’s plan for its school facilities project. 

Grafton Elementary School will be razed because of structural issues caused by the foundation settling. According to a study by Sigma Group, the cost of fixing the building nears the cost of replacing it.

With the demolition of Grafton Elementary School, one principal position had to be eliminated, which will also provide long-term cost savings to the district.

The district plans to finalize the consolidation of students and teachers of Grafton Elementary School before September of 2017 to ensure a smooth transition for the 2018-19 school year.

According to the district, administrators will study student population areas and consult with GO Riteway, the district’s busing provider, to determine class sizes at the two elementary schools and to allow for efficient student transportation.

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