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Petersburg School District Superintendent resigns


Lisa Stroh

Petersburg School District Superintendent Lisa Stroh submitted a letter of resignation to the Petersburg School Board December 31 citing family medical issues as her reason for resignation.

Stroh requested administrative leave from December 16 through January 5, which the school board granted.

"She felt a need to get down to Montana quickly," said school board member Sarah Holmgrain. "She asked for a leave of absence and while down there determined that she needed to stay."

The board hired Stroh in July when she signed a three-year contract with a starting annual salary of $122,720.

Before arriving in Petersburg, Stroh served as superintendent for the Valdez City School District for one year before leaving the job, citing conflict between herself and Valdez School Board members as a reason for leaving.

In a January 1 Petersburg Pilot letter to the editor entitled "Keep Stroh", Petersburg High School Student Body President Skipper Erickson and Senior Class Secretary Aaron Murph cited rumors that Stroh was being fired.

"We would be upset to see such a valuable, and helpful asset to the school leave us on non-favorable conditions," the students wrote.

In a December 17 email to department heads and assembly members, Petersburg Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht wrote, "If you have not already I understand the situation from speaking to Dr. Stroh, she is likely not returning from leave to Petersburg. Last thing we needed was turmoil at the school!"

Giesbrecht said the turmoil he referred to wasn't a conflict between Stroh and school staff or board members but the loss of Secure Rural Schools funding, annual federal funding, and how a superintendent transition may complicate the issue.

In any case, the email suggests Stroh indicated she would not be returning to Petersburg when she requested administrative leave.

Giesbrecht said because the school board discussed the issue in executive session, non-public deliberations, he can only confirm that she is leaving for family medical reasons.

"Officially that's all I know as well, what the school has released," Giesbrecht said.

Along with her December 31 letter of resignation, Stroh submitted a settlement/release.

Teri Toland

"The effective date of the resignation is June 30, 2015, though under the settlement Dr. Stroh would not serve as Superintendent effective immediately," states a Petersburg School District letter.

Stroh did not reply to interview requests.

The school board will meet January 8 at 7 p.m. in the High School library to consider the resignation and settlement/release, details of which aren't being released until the board meeting.

The board will also vote whether or not to appoint Rae Stedman Elementary school principal Erica Kludt-Painter as the interim PSD Superintendent, a job she's been performing since Stroh's absence.

Stedman Elementary second grade teacher Teri Toland has stepped into Kludt-Painters shoes and will continue to do so if the board approves Kludt-Painter as interim superintendent.


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