Multimedia Journalist

Former Russellville school board president resigns

The Russellville Board of Education unanimously accepted the resignation of former school board President Jerry Schulte on Thursday evening.

At a special board meeting July 1, members voted to censure Schulte for interactions with Superintendent Perry Gorrell that were not authorized by the entire board and restrict his access to the superintendent and other school district administrators.

On June 26, Schulte submitted a written request to Gorrell asking for a signed resignation letter by 9 a.m. July 1, along with keys to buildings and the return of any district information.

Board Secretary Collin Steenbergen attributed the censure and reorganization of the board to Schulte “acting unilaterally without consulting any other board members.”

In his board resignation, Schulte said he decided he could not remain on the board due to a difference in values.

“I have decided I am no longer able to stand before God as an associate of a leadership team containing members that promote values so very different than mine personally,” Schulte wrote.

During the meeting, Schulte mentioned previous evaluations the board made of Gorrell that he felt were not properly handled. He later said, in the last 18 months, he lost a lot of trust in Gorrell.

Schulte added his Christian and farming upbringing contributed to where he is today.

“I only want to pass that on to the next generation, and I will keep doing that,” he said.

Ahead of the opening prayer, led by Pastor David Viles of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, board member Mark Schroeder asked to include prayer over the division in the district.

“There’s been some disarray among us,” Schroeder said. “Maybe a divided building, staff-wise. I’d like to touch on that if you can; we could use a little help.”

The board agreed to proceed with filling the empty seat with a seventh member. Applications will be available at the high school, 13600 Route C, beginning today and must be returned by 4 p.m. Aug. 9.

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