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Elementary school principal submits letter of resignation

by Brandon RobertsWestern News
| February 18, 2009 11:00 PM

Asa Wood Elementary Principal Margie O’Brien-Johnson submitted her resignation.

Libby School Superintendent Kirby Maki read her letter of resignation during Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

“We appreciate her efforts,” Maki said. “We have to go forward in a positive way.”

O’Brien-Johnson was unable to attend the meeting but in her letter said she would fulfill her duties through the 2008-09 school year when her contract expires.

Maki, along with Special Services Coordinator Kari Lewinsohn, have been filling in at Asa while O’Brien-Johnson cares for her mother following open-heart surgery.

Maki said that her mother’s health as well as her husband’s inability to relocate to the area due to employment opportunities are major causes for her resignation.

The board accepted her resignation as well as unanimously extending contracts to the district’s leadership team – Jael Prezeau, Rik Rewerts, Ron Goodman, Keith Ivers, Jim Germany and Lewinsohn for the 2009-10 school year.

In other news, continuing deterioration of the Asa Wood School has prompted the recommendation from the Facilities and Grounds Committee to recommend to the board that all students be out of the building in four years.

Board member Tony Rebo also noted the lack of hot water in the kindergarten wing of the school and Maki agreed to purchase small, portable hot water heaters for each classroom.

Rebo also discussed Asa’s appetite for heating oil, consuming 400 gallons per day. Rebo is also on the St. John’s Lutheran Hospital Board and said that building is 20,000 square-feet larger and uses a quarter of the oil per day.

“We need to be moving off the dime,” Trustee Paula Darko-Hensler said. “We need those children out of Asa Wood. Our students deserve more.”

Trustees agreed to discuss the recommendation at their next regular meeting on March 9 at 7 p.m. in the Little Theatre at Central School.

The board also approved the May 5 election of new board members. There are a trio of three-year positions and a single-year term up for a vote. The seats to be filled include those held by Lee Disney, Jerry Frament, Gela Koehler and Bruce Sickler.

Elections will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5 at Asa Wood.