A relatively standard Hastings School Board meeting was bookended by a discussion over lapses in Superintendent Tim Collins's licensure over 10 years ago.
The board agreed to currently take no future action on two instances when Collins's license lapsed in 2003 and 2008, based on an attorney review of the matters. Board chairperson Scott Gergen said the review was prompted after a community member had sent a letter to the school district detailing the lapses.
Gergen detailed attorneys' review of the situation in a summary:
The review confirmed the lapses did happen, but said there were three reasons why it was not grounds for potential action, such as termination against Collins:
- The length of time passed since they occurred
- The unlikely nature a potential termination would hold up in a court challenge
- Based on a previous court ruling that had ruled against a district that had elected to not renew a principal for licensure lapse
"With respect to immediate termination, our attorney's opinion is that the termination being upheld ... is extremely low," Gergen read from his summary of the attorneys' review.
The review also detailed that Collins had attempted to renew his license in 2003, but a portion of the continuing education hours were not certified, delaying his renewal. Collins’s license remained expired from July until December that year. In 2008, he had notified the board of his expired license, and had it renewed four days after reapplying.
Board members agreed with the attorneys' recommendation.
"I was disappointed by the lapsed licenses ... we really need to account for that this happened 10 years ago," board member Kelsey Waits said. "I don't think it's our position to take a position on something that happened [long] ago."
The community concern over Collins's license lapse follows other concerns prompted by his decision to retire and seek being rehired, and subsequent move to revoke his retirement request. In the meeting, one community member spoke out against Collins, asking for new leadership in the district.
Other board actions
- The board approved cost increases of $33,574.51 for Hastings Middle School renovations and $83,065.45 for Todd Field renovations. The middle school cost increase accounts for unexpected issues in removing cement and ceiling tiles, while Todd Field's hike accounts for a new sound system, issues removing a center track and for a retaining wall.