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BREAKING NEWS

Spirit Lake – Principal rescinds resignation

By Staff | Feb 11, 2008

Rev. Debra Wise of United Methodist Church addressed the crowd at the Expo Center in Spirit Lake on Sunday about the Coalition for an Accountable and Responsible Education System (CARES). Photo by Greg Drees

Spirit Lake – Principal rescinds resignation

By Staff | Feb 11, 2008

Rev. Debra Wise of United Methodist Church addressed the crowd at the Expo Center in Spirit Lake on Sunday about the Coalition for an Accountable and Responsible Education System (CARES). Photo by Greg Drees

SPIRIT LAKE — A strong contingency of about 250 teachers, students and citizens – calling itself the Coalition for an Accountable and Responsible Education System (CARES) – convened Sunday afternoon at the Expo Center in Spirit Lake to voice concerns over ousted high school principal Jedd Sherman and the district’s state of being.

Sherman said last week his resignation was made under duress, but the school board voted 3-2 to accept the abdication and place him on immediate administrative leave. After a subsequent show of ardent support by students – including peaceful picketing at several outside venues in Spirit Lake – Sherman rescinded his resignation to the board on Thursday. However, superintendent Doug Latham said the board’s decision would stand.

Sophomore Ellie Hoover said on Sunday the students support for Sherman would be unwavering. “We feel that Mr. Sherman really, honestly cares about what the students think, and he also has the best interests of the parents and the community at heart.”

Reverend Debra Wise of the United Methodist Church in Spirit Lake, was the unofficial spokesperson for CARES at Sunday’s convention. “We’re not here to rabble rouse,” Wise said. “We are to be here in community with each other.”

Wise said CARES was organized around the issue of an acceptable and responsible school district. “This is not just about principal Sherman, but about district finances as well,” Wise said, referring to recent criticism that the school board has overspent more than $800,000, creating budget crunches.

Attorney Larry Stoller, a 1974 graduate of Spirit Lake, took the podium and defended Sherman. “He uses a unique approach of humanism, and his administrators just don’t get it,” Stoller said. “He marches to a different drummer, but he has a really big band behind him.”

The Spirit Lake lawyer then delivered a message from Sherman to the gathering. “He wanted you to know he retained Rick Barry from Spencer as his legal counsel, and that he is not here today because he understands the work you’re doing is for the Spirit Lake school system and not because of him,” Stoller said.

School board president Beth Will said Sunday she had not seen Sherman’s letter rescinding his resignation. “The board has spoken,” Will said. “It’s my thought process that the decision will be final.”