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Superintendent, School Board member resigns

(Originally published on Thursday, January 18, 2024)

In a pair of moves that continue the turmoil at the Custer County School District, School Superintendent Jackie Crabtree resigned effective June 30 at the end of her two-year contract. In addition, school board member Tracey Broll also resigned on January 15, citing a lack of communication between the board and the superintendent.

These moves continue to see faculty and staff at the school turnover. Last year, at least 12 teachers and staff left. The school district has been unable to hire new teachers to fill positions and has to revert to contracts for special education and math teachers. With the election of three new school board members last fall, the new board is trying to heal divisions between the school administration and the faculty, settle a grievance filed by the faculty against Crabtree, and work to retain the teachers it has.

At the January 15 public meeting, the board accepted Crabtree’s resignation, which will kick off a search for a new superintendent and board member. They also accepted the resignation of bus driver Guy Madden and heard the retirement announcement from building trades teacher Renee Johnson.

According to School Board member Jordan Benson, the board will meet every Wednesday for at least the next two months on the superintendent search. Meetings will be held from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. in the school library.

The board also voted to approve a one-time bonus of $1,000 per year for each teacher and a 2.5 percent bonus for classified employees. They also approved stipends for $200 for full-time staff members, $100 for classified employees, and a $500 signing bonus for certified employees.

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