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Hastings Superintendent Tim Collins withdraws retirement

Hastings Middle School. File photo

Hastings Public Schools Superintendent Tim Collins withdrew his retirement at a June 19 school board meeting.

The move comes as board members had been set to discuss whether to rehire Collins or hire a new superintendent in a series of now cancelled meetings in the next week. In a statement Collins said that the decision came after thinking about his initial decision on retirement.

"Over the past two weeks, I kept questioning if this was the right decision for me personally, and professionally, and in the end I made the decision to not submit my letter of retirement," his statement read.

Collins declined to answer follow-up questions in an email, writing he was comfortable with the statement and that "there is really nothing more that I have for right now on the decision."

Collins had initially announced his intent to retire early and his hopes to be rehired during a May 22 school board meeting. His announcement had stirred some community efforts in advocating for the board to take the position in a new direction.

Board chair Scott Gergen said that the decision was unexpected, but does puts the board back "into normal mode."

"We knew that this was an option that until we approved anything ... it was an option," he said. "From our standpoint, we have a contract in place with him."

Almost all of the board members had not yet revealed whether they supported rehiring Collins or moving in a new direction. Though at a June 14 work session board member Dave Pemble had said he was leaning towards pushing for a new superintendent and cited community feedback as a reason for his stance on it.

However, board member Lisa Hedin said that she doesn't think there will be any difficulties in maintaining productive work between the board and Collins.

"We've had challenging times between levies, bonds ... and there hasn't be uniformity on the board," she said. "Why we're on the board is consistent, so I feel like it [won't be an issue.]"

She said that the board will now focus on the work beyond deciding on succession for the district's top position.

"We now don't have to put time into that, so we have time for other things. We need as a board to do the work in front of us," Hedin said.

Board filing deadlines

• At the meeting, the board also set July 30 to Aug. 13 as filing deadlines for the upcoming school board elections. The terms for board members Joe Becker, Lisa Hedin, Peter Blissenbach and Russ Rohloff expire this year.

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