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East Central Kansas Cooperative in Education Director Susan Christensen resigned her position effective June 30, 2013 during the monthly Co-op Board meeting Tuesday evening in Baldwin City.

The East Central Kansas Cooperative in Education is in charge of providing special education services to the Eudora, Baldwin City and Wellsville School Districts. The co-op is overseen by a board of directors that is made up of the three participating School Districts. Belinda Rehmer and Mike Kelso from the Eudora School District currently represent Eudora on the co-op board.

Christensen’s contract was up for renewal at the end of the academic year and her annual performance review was presented to her during an Executive Session portion of Board meeting.  That review is not available to the public and the results were not disclosed during the public portions of the meeting.

Two former para-educators spoke during the public comment section of the meeting criticizing Christensen’s handling of employee relations and working conditions.  Rosina Houle, who worked most recently in Eudora for the Co-op, informed board members about her stance on the events that led to her termination and how Houle felt she was not treated fairly by Christensen.  Houle recently won a decision by the Kansas Department of Labor in regards to her being entitled to unemployment benefits.  While the comments to the Board were done during an Executive Session, Houle had also informed the Co-op Board of the situation and laid out the series of events via email.

“It is my hope that polices will be implemented, so that what occurred to me is prevented with future paraprofessionals,” Houle said in part of her email.

We attempted to talk to Christensen following the Board meeting, but she refused to answer any questions about her resignation.  Rehmer and Kelso also declined to answer any questions about the situation following the meeting.

At Thursday’s Eudora School Board meeting, Kelso briefly explained that Christensen had resigned and that a search process for a new Co-op Director would begin as quickly as possible.  Rehmer was not in attendance at the Eudora School Board meeting.

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