Newspaper editorial blasts Brookings School Board, drawing at least one candidate to run.

This editorial was on the front page of the Brookings Register last week, possibly prompting at least one candidate to immediately file papers to run for the Brookings School Board:

How does it benefit the citizens of the Brookings School District when its elected representatives attempt to cover up the fact they’ve forced the superintendent to resign?

“I have no comment on that,” school board President Marysz Rames told the Register’s education reporter two weeks ago when he attempted to get the untold details of the story. “That’s a personnel matter.”


So, while all the superintendent’s professional responsibilities have been eliminated, he’s still collecting more than $11,000 a month through June 30. That’s at least $55,000 for five months of non-duty as a powerless drone.

By our reckoning, that’s more than $115,000 of taxpayer money the board has been willing to spend to rid itself of DeGroot. Doesn’t that demand some kind of explanation?

By the way the matter was handled, it’s obvious the school board wanted to keep the circumstances hidden from the public. Why?


DeGroot’s termination, the settlement agreement, the document details were all handled outside of public scrutiny which leads one to wonder if the decisions made by the board were in compliance with the state’s open meeting laws. We’ll never know about that, either.

Read it all here.

As noted, it looks like that article was the tipping point for at least one new candidate for the office, who cited some of that controversy as a reason why she got in the race:

She added that it felt like the right time with “some current issues and related uncertainties” that have recently happened with the Brookings School District and school board following Superintendent Roger DeGroot’s termination.

   “If I have the honor of serving on the school board, I will always look at all of the information and options while basing my decisions on what’s best for the district as a whole,” she said. “I hope to increase family, teacher and staff involvement with school board matters.”

Read that here.

The deadline to file petitions for the office is Friday.

7 thoughts on “Newspaper editorial blasts Brookings School Board, drawing at least one candidate to run.”

  1. It’s a personnel matter. Those decisions are usually kept confidential.
    Severance pay equal to 2 weeks pay for every year of service is not unusual, sounds like he got a little more than that but maybe that was negotiated.
    And that’s it.

  2. Oh my gosh Stace is back and he's talking about how much he loves the dems on madville times. Oh my gosh oh my gosh. says:

    Stace Nelson
    2015.02.23 AT 19:50
    Great article Mr “H!”

    In my humble experience, it was not the conservatives that loathed Democrats. It was the moderates and former Democrats that held the most animosity for them. I perceived it to be a compensation issue. I personally enjoyed serving with all the Democrats, despite our honest differences, and parted ways with them all as friends.

    1. Do you always stay up late trolling other blogs looking for Stace Nelson comments? Have you no shame?

  3. As a personnel matter, any employer is limited in what they can and cannot say. As for journalists who complain and cite the public’s right to know, most of these journalists: 1) don’t know the applicable laws – laws designed protect employees and hold employers accountable; and 2) would be the first to condemn employers who are believed to be harassing or victimizing employees by over-disclosing to the public the circumstances of their separation from employment.

    Broadly speaking, when a decision is made to make a change at the senior executive level, it’s going to be expensive. The only thing more expensive to an employer is holding onto an executive once the decision is made that a change is needed. This assumes, of course, that the decisions are being made with the organization’s success in mind. However, even when personalities and personal agendas trump organizational needs, the strife between a board and the best executive is more costly (in terms of lost opportunities and distraction from organizational goals and performance) than making the change.

  4. To me, the big picture here is the salary that he was drawing, over $130,000 per year. The salaries these
    superintendents get, in this supposedly money-strapped education system in SD, is outlandish. That’s more than the governor makes. They are very good at crying that we need more money for the teachers while grabbing a lion’s share for themselves. Unfortunately, our school boards are the one’s giving it to them. And don’t tell me you need to pay them that much to get a ‘good qualified’ superintendent, that’s bull.

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