In the wake of a Park County School District RE-2 teachers’ strike Oct. 14-24, Superintendent Joe Torrez, along with the entirety of the district’s five-member school board, have either departed, or have publicly announced a date for their departures from the district.
Four of the five board positions have already been filled, with a notice of vacancy soon to be announced for the final spot. There were only four individuals seeking positions on the board, so none of the vacancies were contested.
The district released a Nov. 5 statement announcing that it had reached a separation agreement with Torrez, and that his last day with the district is set for Dec. 31. No further details were provided at that time, but the district has since provided specifics regarding the agreement.
According to the agreement, “Mr. Torrez’s employment with the District shall end effective Aug. 31, 2020 … Although employment is not terminated until Aug. 31, 2020, Mr. Torrez’s role and duties in the District from Jan. 1, 2020 through Aug. 31, 2020 shall be as a consultant.”
Torrez will be paid by the district, including PERA and health benefits, through Aug. 31, 2020. He will not receive any additional compensation as a result of his consulting role.
In his separation agreement, Torrez claims that South Park Teacher’s Association disseminated his personal cell phone and email address, and other personal implications from the strike had arisen. These were some of the reasons that Torrez asked for his employment situation with the district to be amended.
Torrez also released the district from all past and present legal claims, damages, causes of action, which he knows about at this time, or which now exist on account of his employment with the district.
School Board President Kim Bundgaard announced her resignation Oct. 18. Her replacement has not yet been determined. The board has 60 days to fill Bundgaard’s position as a board member.
Former board member Foss Smith resigned, as did Gary Jurgemeyer, and those vacancies were filled by Duane Thompson and Larry Footer.
Leslie Rhyner and Jan Toyne recently saw their terms end, and each opted not to seek re-election, creating two vacancies that were filled by Kip Otteson and Claylynn Ryszkowski.