Sup’t shares why new RCHS principal got the job

By Jon Tatting—

An educator from a nearby school district has been chosen as the new principal at Rush City High School.

The school board hired and personally welcomed Brent Stavig at its regular meeting Thursday, May 17. His initial one-year contract begins July 1, so he’ll be ready to greet students back to school in the fall.

Meet Brent Stavig, Rush City High School's new principal. His initial contract year begins on July 1. Photo by Jon Tatting

Stavig is currently employed as an industrial technology teacher for grades 6-12 at St. Francis High School in St. Francis, Minn., where he also completed an administrative internship. As RCHS principal, with a starting salary of $82,000, it will be his first experience in administration.

“While he lacks administrative experience, he has demonstrated good judgment, the ability to respond appropriately in difficult situations, and he is eager to learn,” Rush City Schools Superintendent Vern Koepp said after the meeting.

Stavig was one of 31 applicants and five interviewed for the principal job. Koepp shed some light on what stood out to the interview team.

“Based on conversations with his references and conversations with Brent, the interview team believes he will be good at developing and maintaining good relationships with students, staff and the community,” he explained.

Team members also felt Stavig’s leadership style will be well received by the school and community. And then there’s his background in technology, an area held in high regard at Rush City schools.

“As a teacher of technology education, Brent has used innovative strategies to engage students, and he has cultivated support from community members and businesses for project-based learning,” Koepp noted.

Stavig replaces Stuart Fuhs who held the RCHS principal position for two years before resigning last month to pursue other opportunities.

Parent talks bullying

A mother of two Rush City students spoke with frustration over a group of students who have engaged in bullying one of her children at school.

She voiced concerns on how the school has handled the issue, which has resulted in some consequences. She discussed how she had to eventually address the superintendent.

Above all, she urged the board to read the results and comments from the district’s bullying survey — completed by students, parents and school staff — which was discussed at a recent Board Advisory meeting.

Boardchair Scott Tryon thanked her for her feedback.

High school news

In the high school report, it was noted that Marissa Belau, Sam Melin, John Roerig, Trista Sarago and Matt Strenke received the Students of Excellence Award.

MCA testing is complete and also at Jacobson Elementary School.

Garret Pearson earned two honorable mentions in sculpture at a visual arts conference, and RCHS Photography’s YouTube channel has more than 500 views. See the students’ work at

The Spring Fling is scheduled for May 23 with food, beverage and activities beginning at 1 p.m. at the school.

Personnel actions

The board noted a “thank you” is in order for instrumental music teacher Morris Engler who is resigning after 25 years of service to the district.

“I would like to publicly thank all school board members, administration, staff, faculty, parents and students that supported my program throughout my tenure,” Engler said in his letter of resignation.

Board members approved family medical leaves of absence for high school art teacher Katherine Johnson for the 2012-13 school year and teacher Lila Bennett from Oct. 3 through Nov. 19, 2012.

In St. Croix River Education District (SCRED) personnel actions, the board approved the following resignations: Lolene Borsheim, Shared Curriculum coordinator; Pat Just, clerical; Susan Witthuhn, physical therapist; and Beth Steinleitner, social worker.

Board members also agreed to hire Tiffany Everding as a school psychologist starting Aug. 6, 2012.

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