When informed by Yellow Medicine East Superintendent Al Stoeckman of his intentions not to renew his contract with the district heading into next school year, members of the YME School Board, collectively pleased with his performance, established a committee charged with changing the superintendents mind.
The committee, consisting of board Chair Grant Velde and members Tim Opdahl and Jane Hagert, met with Stoeckman this past Thursday. As a result, Stoeckman says he is going to reconsider his departure, but in the end it appears its going to come down to a decision between himself and his family.
“If it was totally his decision, I think he would stay with YME,” said YME School Board Chair Grant Velde. “But he needs to talk with his wife and daughters. We’ve asked him to get back to us within two weeks.”
Stoeckman is in the final-year of his second three-year contract with the district. His tenure at YME has overseen the district as it has worked to navigate the tumultuous waters of declining enrollment, cuts to state aid, a major facility improvement project and subsequent lawsuit.
Velde said that, from the perspective of the board, Stoeckman has executed an exemplary work ethic and calm demeanor while dealing with the issues. “He transitioned the school through a lot of stressful phases and always kept things positive going through them while promoting a sense of calm and not panic,” he said.
Velde also commented that it is his opinion that it would be a shame for Stoeckman to leave before reaping the fruits of all his labors.
Reached for comment, Stoeckman had little to add, noting only that he is continuing to have discussions with his family and he’ll know the appropriate course of action when it presents itself definitively.