Raymond's resignation tabledThe Red Wing School Board voted 6-0 Monday night to table longtime English teacher Jillynne Raymond’s resignation and send consideration of her one-year unpaid leave of absence request back to the personnel committee.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
The Red Wing School Board voted 6-0 Monday night to table longtime English teacher Jillynne Raymond’s resignation and send consideration of her one-year unpaid leave of absence request back to the personnel committee.
Just after the start of this school year, Raymond was offered and took a position as interim kindergarten through eighth-grade principal at Pine Island School District. Raymond has been with the Red Wing School District for 19 years, but said the Pine Island position was one she “couldn’t pass up.”
After taking the principal position, Raymond requested a one-year unpaid leave of absence.
“I wanted to just take a leave to protect my spot in Red Wing, depending on what happened on (the Pine Island) position,” Raymond said.
The personnel committee discussed the matter at its Sept. 10 meeting and recommended denying Raymond’s request.
“If you take a job in another district, you are no longer an employee,” Board member and personnel committee member Mike Christensen told the board. “We need to work out of policies, rather than who you are and what you do.”
When Raymond learned of the committee’s recommendation, she submitted a resignation letter effective Sept. 11 to the district; her resignation was on Monday’s consent agenda.
But Board member Dennis Porter, a retired teacher, asked that the matter be removed for further discussion.
“I guess I’m just wondering what happened,” he said, questioning the committee’s decision to deny the request.
Personnel committee minutes, which were included in the board agenda packet, said Supt. Karsten Anderson verbally shared a list of teachers who were previously given leaves of absence to take administration positions in other districts.
“You have staff members counting on this option for years,” Porter said of the board’s past approval of similar leave requests. “And all of a sudden you don’t have that option.”
But Christensen and fellow personnel committee and Board member Heidi Jones stood behind the committee’s recommendation.
“Do you really want to be the backup school in case it doesn’t work out?” Christensen said.
Jones questioned the consistency of hiring a temporary teacher for the remainder of the school year.
“It’s a little too fluid,” she said. “It makes it harder for us to rehire for that position.”
But Board member Steve Anderson said interim teachers have been replacing Raymond in the classroom for the last two years while she was on “special assignment” to help implement the district’s strategic plan.
“When we did have her on assignment, there were interim people replacing her and that came out just fine,” Anderson said. “You want to keep the door open for good people.”
“I think we need to look at Jillynne’s service,” he continued. “She’s an excellent teacher and an excellent asset to this district.”
The matter has been sent back to the personnel committee for consideration. Board members said Raymond will be invited to that meeting, which has yet to be scheduled.
However, Raymond said Tuesday that she will not be attending that meeting. She added that whether she is granted the leave or not, she will have no hard feelings.
“I certainly understand how organizations need to clean up their policies,” she said. “It has truly been an honor to serve our students in Red Wing. We have a great community, and I feel very good about the path our education system is on in Red Wing.”