Pine City School Board Resignations!

Pine City School Board Resignations!

578 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!

Why this petition matters

Started by Danielle Johnson

The Pine City School Board is in need of many changes. 

This year they have had 2 board members (both in the chair position) resign abruptly. Numerous staff have resigned with no word on why. We've lost another superintendent after a 1 year contract. Rumors about the board have been constant all year. We've never been more divided and there is one common theme, the school board. 

A current board member posted a heart felt message on 5/2 about their concerns and we need to pay attention!! Here is the post I'm referencing, ������

"As an elected official, I’m not sure where else to turn. I have exhausted many options. So I’m turning to those that voted because you deserve the truth. Even if it’s ‘just my truth’ 

I joined the board in January 2021. I asked to see the budget. I was told ‘The board doesn’t usually have access to the budget. What specifically do you want to know and I’ll get you the specifics’ Well, I was really looking for fund balance, admin budgets and the information so I can be confident in approving anything and putting my name on anything budget related. This was ignored. 

New superintendent comes in June. One goal was implemented in the 23 goals she was given, to implement checks and balances with the budget. Two signatures on transactions. Fact: Budget access was not given to Superintendent until October 2021 despite multiple attempts by board members advocating. 

Resignations in February. A third party is brought in. Secured 4.2million in missed funds. Other uncoverings show up. No discussion with the full board regarding this are allowed, all my meeting requests denied.

Superintendent search is voted on. I didn’t vote for it initially but I supported it and now I have seen great benefit from the process. Community and district input is valued. Results come out. Wait until you see what happens next.

My largest concern is that we have many started initiatives with the current contracted Superintendent and continues to implement opportunities for our district. But those won’t come to fruition with what could happen next. When there has been zero on boarding from one to the next superintendent x4 which trickles down in policy and procedure can opportunities get lost in transition? 

We have amazing students, we have wonderful, dedicated teachers and staff. We have facilities that are encouraged to be utilized. We are at a pivotal moment with a fresh start and I’m terrified. I can’t watch this happen to any more humans. Two board Chairs, two superintendents leaving silently without a voice in my year and half of serving on the board. And I’m told, it’s my fault, it’s never been this bad in 34 years. That hurts. But I have thick skin. I was hopeful the superintendent search would solve the ‘gotcha mentality’ and we could change the focus to the future… that is not allowed. Who can succeed when the goal/vision/expectations keep moving? 

I’m physically and mentally deteriorating and it’s because of my time I’ve served on the Pine City school board. Fact. I know what it looks like. But it’s not that at all. Calling out the behavior of others is not bullying. It is calling out the behaviors to try to make change, put a stop and move forward. This can’t happen when a open or closed discussion can’t happen. It has not been allowed. And it’s not for lack of trying. I have requested 7 times for a board work session, all denied. I have reached out numerous times to talk about business, as a board, every time it has been denied. Text, PM, phone call to a board members, no response x 3 months. Not until the board meeting do I know they even still serve on the board. And then, they won’t talk to me there either. I haven’t done anything wrong. But I’m trying to be made felt that way. 

Ostracized for doing the work. Trying to make positive change. It is strong armed. I’m in disbelief. I’ve even requested a closed session to evaluate my own performance as a board member thus far, meeting denied. ��‍♀️

‘you’re too vocal, your facial expressions, your overstepping’ all things that I’ve taken in and listened to thinking, yeah maybe I am. But I’m also SO CONFUSED. No one can say a specific experience that was so awful that we keep turning and spinning. The discussion and direction changes so fast, how can anyone keep up. Especially when you aren’t told specifically WHAT was done wrong. I feel like I’m in the middle of a dysfunctional relationship trying to advocate for both/all sides. I’m getting whiplash. 

I am still the spunky, smiling, honk at you on Monday morning because it’s a new week Becci B I’ve always been, but I’m fading fast. Im an adult, working professional and this is not how we can allow others to treat people. A year and a half of being Insulted, silenced, my integrity questioned, this hurts. I just want to do the good work with others. The more I ask, the more I am silenced. This is a board issue. The cycle won’t change if it doesn’t get the opportunity to be addressed and our staff and students suffer. 

There are AWESOME things that have and are going on in our schools. Let’s celebrate and spotlight them. My experience has opened my eyes to status quo. I applaud those that have asked, shared their ideas, come to the table to discuss and collaborate. It is not easy. But you’ve been heard! 

Who are the three that made videos (encouraged by the superintendent) for the staff at back to school workshop? Who put on the PTO Back to School Bash? Trying to connect, Rah Rah, encourage our staff that we are there for you and want the best? We wanted to do the work and make positive changes, those three are now no longer serving or are hanging on by a thread. 

This is the saddest thing I’ve ever had the displeasure of watching unfold. If I didn’t live through it myself, I wouldn’t believe it. If those that have been treated the same don’t stand up, say something and speak up for our district this will continue to dismantle. You have support. I am here to listen to all. What is the actual problem, so together we can solve it and do better moving forward. Your experience is your truth. I am a mental health professional, a problem solver and mediator, starting with my 5th grade conflict manager training at PC Elem. � I wore that dorky hat proudly around the playground. And still do today. Daily, on a professional level. I just really like progress, people and advocating for best success, safety and fun! 

I don’t know what else to do but hang up my hat and go back to Lions and PTO where the work for our community and staff and students are truly the vision. I am so sad. If those clubs will even allow me back in. I have the paranoid feeling, rumors of my integrity have been started and fly without fact. If I have to be the sacfricial lamb for the greater good of our district, then I guess that’s my role. But I assure you, it does not feel good right now. 

I graduated from Pine City, moved away and came back 10 years later. Met a PC graduate, married and raising a funny little family in Pine City. Now I have 2 starting kindergarten in the fall and I’m not sure what to do with the info I know. And it has nothing to do with our fabulous teachers and staff. 

I’m sure there will be retaliation and ramifications from my truth, I’ll be silenced some more, they’ll take away my birthday, but it can’t be any worse than what I’ve mentally and physically endured. A panic attack to the ER via ambulance, the thought of a stroke and leaving my kids is on my mind daily, blood pressure is up (I’ve NEVER had high BP) feel the community and friends I’ve supported now can’t make eye contact, my husband fears for my well being enough to talk to me about it (he knows I’m a tough nut and asking me to stop fuels my go get em spirit) so… there it is. I’ve divulged my last year in a nutshell, believe it or not, the public deserves to know. It’s your money, your buildings, your students, your staff, your community, your future. 

Life is short, smile genuinely, make eye contact, have more fun, be honest, talk openly, if it’s not worth fighting for let it go. Our number one clients spend the majority of their beautiful lives in the district buildings. It’s the reason I ran for school board and I believe the reason I was elected. Help me hang on in this position, for them."

This is a cry for help!! We need to demand a vote of no confidence to the 4 board members with titles. The chair, vice chair, treasurer, and clerk who have failed to do their duties and uphold the code of ethics they agreed to. Having these leadership titles increases the amount they are paid on top of the school board base pay they receive. They are not following the policies pertaining to their jobs. Policy  #202 and 209, available on the district website

The chair is overstepping his position and is not mitigating stressful situations as a leader should. He has disregarded numerous policies and does not uphold the code of ethics they all signed. He has been making decisions without consulting all of the board members. He has not supported our superintendent which is a primary goal of the school board in policy 209.

The clerk is refusing to type up the meeting minutes, so the chair has had his wife typing them. Even for closed sessions which is very unethical. The clerk is a kindergarten teacher at another school and has broken many ethics codes including inappropriate texts to teachers about our superintendent. They are responsible for the audit which has been late each year they've been in office. 

The treasurer missed 4.2 million in funding last year and the audit has been late for the last 3 years. The budget was also extremely late and took a hired 3rd party to sort out. 

The vice chair does nothing but show up to board meetings. Literally he does nothing for our school beyond board meetings. 

We must show up to the next board meeting and demand their resignations so they do not ruin our schools any longer. I am not sure what has happened to our current superintendent but I was at the district office today and the office is emptied. There has been no word from the board chair about this. 

Also, the school board received comments at last weeks meeting about their performance from the online stakeholder survey done through the school.  The board has said they may not share these comments with the public. We must demand these comments be made public immediately since they are using tax payers dollars to pay for this. 

They have used 20+k of school money to fund the new superintendent search when the current superintendent asked for 14k to be paid equal to what they paid the male counterpart the year prior. The current superintendent was doing the job well and reached all the goals given before the year was even over!! If you watch the January board meeting you can see the gender inequality in action from our leaders. She wasn't asking for more pay, she was asking for equal pay to what the man got paid. The board has consistently paid female superintendents less and this is unacceptable in 2022. Our daughters are watching this! 

We must demand transparency from the school board. We must share our personal stories about the emotional abuse they are inflicting on this school and everyone in it. We must show up to the board meetings and demand transparency. Why is there is missing money? Why is the audit consistently late? Why is the budget late? Why are the staff leaving? Why are board members resigning midterm? We need answers!!

Now is the time for teachers and students to share their stories. We are stronger together and United in our common goal to take back our school for the students and staff to succeed!!! 

We also need new, qualified, stakeholder candidates for the upcoming election. Are you student focused, staff centered, innovative, forward thinking, and well versed on school policies? If you need help contact me and we will assist in anyway we can. 

Now is the time to make this leap and create the change our students deserve. 


578 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!