FREEMAN — The Freeman Public school district has begun its search for a replacement after the sudden resignation of its former business manager.

The school board acted on Ronda Rinehart’s resignation at an emergency special meeting Wednesday. Following an executive session, the board accepted Rinehart’s resignation and appointed high school administrative assistant Debra Goossen as the interim business manager.

The position was opened for applications Thursday, said Superintendent Kevin Kunz.

"I have been instructed by the board to begin advertising for a long-term business manager (Thursday), with a closing date of Friday, February 9," he said.

Goossen immediately replaced Rinehart, who was in her 13th year at Freeman Public, Kunz said.

"Debra Goossen will fulfill the duties of business manager on a stipend basis until a permanent replacement is hired," he said. "We will be searching for someone to take over the Jr./Sr. High School administrative assistant position on a temporary basis."

At its Feb. 12 regular meeting, the school board plans to determine which candidates to interview. The board intends to begin the interview process Feb. 19 and offer the position Feb. 26.

The chosen candidate’s starting date could vary greatly, Kunz said.

"The date at which the new business manager will take over will depend upon that individual’s job status," he said. "It is possible that a new business manager could take over by mid-March. However, it could be July 1 before they are able to begin."

Rinehart resigned immediately, Kunz said.

"On Tuesday, January 9th, I received a resignation letter from Ronda via email at approximately 4:10 p.m. after she had left the building for the day," he said.

"At no point did she directly address me or any member of the board. Her letter simply stated she was resigning, effective immediately, and that Tuesday was her last day in the office."

Kunz provided the Press & Dakotan with a copy of Rinehart’s resignation, which said, "This letter is to notify you of my resignation. Today was my last day in the office."

Kunz said the resignation doesn’t include any other information.

"There is nothing in the letter that addresses her reason for resigning," Kunz said. "Likewise, she made no indication to me, the rest of the administration or the board as to the reasoning for her resignation."

Rinehart could not be reached Thursday for comment.


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