Bloomfield is now searching for a new agriculture instructor and FFA advisor after the Board of Education voted to end its contract with teacher Amber Endres.
The Board of Education held a hearing Monday night that went into the early morning hours, resulting in a 4-1 vote to cancel Endres’ contract with the district.
The hearing began just after 6 p.m. Monday and adjourned at 2:33 a.m. Tuesday. Josh Schauer, of Perry Law Firm, represented the Board as mediator for the hearing. Schauer introduced the parties present at the counsel tables — Karen Haase, attorney for the Board of Education, and Rick Wade, attorney for Endres.
Schauer told the near-capacity crowd, “The purpose of this meeting is to determine whether to cancel, amend or continue the employment contract of Amber Endres.”
Board member Christy Mackeprang recused herself from participating in the decision-making process of the board and stepped down from the panel. After several hours of testimony and rebuttle, the Board went into executive session at 12:57 a.m. Tuesday and exited at 2:26 a.m.
Schauer read the proposed findings of fact to cancel Endres ’s employment. Chris Johnson moved to adopt the findings of fact, and Brian Eisenhauer seconded the motion. The motion carried 4-1 with Kristi Hauger casting the lone vote against and Mackeprang recused.
Bloomfield Superintendent Shane Alexander said the district has begun searching for Endres’ replacement.
“We’re going to move forward and heal,” Alexander said. “We have to move forward. We met with the teachers, and we have to get back on track. We have high standards for education in Bloomfield, and those standards cannot be put aside because of something like this.”
Alexander said the district will advertise for a replacement and plans to utilize Kirk Hamm as the substitute agriculture teacher and interim FFA advisor.
“We have a long-term substitute in place, who will finish out the semester, and, hopefully, we can find a good candidate by Christmas time and have someone in place by second semester,” Alexander said.
Bloomfield has in the past utilized both administration and community members for the hiring process, and Alexander said the district will again form a similar committee with assistance from the public.
“FFA is a huge program in Bloomfield,” Alexander said. “It’s success has been huge in the past. Ag and FFA are, to me, intertwined. You can’t have one without the program. We need to have a good program with agriculture and FFA. It’s one of the biggest programs in our entire school.”