Wakonda, Irene share school staff by David Lias The Wakonda School Board didn't have to search far or long to find a replacement for Ron Flynn, who resigned as superintendent shortly after the end of the school year.
They only had to look about eight miles away, to Irene.
The Wakonda and Irene school districts have agreed to share administrative and other staff.
Larry Johnke, who was Irene's superintendent last year, is now head administrator of both school school districts.
David Hutchison, who was secondary principal at Irene last year, is now filling that position at both schools.
And Kay Lueth, who was Wakonda's elementary principal until the end of last school year, is holding that job at both Irene and Wakonda.
"We have also agreed to share vocal music and art," said Van Moser, president of the Wakonda School Board. "And for years, we have shared a shop teacher."
Moser said Wakonda and Irene school administrators and school board members formed a committee last spring to begin talking about the feasibility of sharing staff before Flynn's resignation.
"The opportunity happened to come when he (Flynn) chose to take a different position," he said.
Moser believes both school districts will benefit. Both will continue to be administered by qualified staff.
"And we feel like both schools are going to save some money," Moser said.
The two schools likely will share more than staff. The districts also will save funds, Moser
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said, by sharing equipment.
The committee that studied the feasibility of sharing staff will continue to meet, he said.
"That's the only way we're going to survive," Moser said.
The administrators likely will be on a flexible schedule, and will likely spend half of the school day at each school.
"Not all of three of them will be in one school at the same time," he said. "It may be because of travel time, especially in the winter, it may be better for the superintendent to be in Wakonda for a full day and then spend the next full day in Irene.
"That's going to be flexible," Moser said. "We're willing to flexible as long as we have the management we need to provide education."