School board moves to accept Superintendent Jim Johnson’s retirement

The Monticello School District will accept the retirement of Dr. Jim Johnson after all.

At a special meeting Monday night, held largely to discuss the upcoming interim superintendent search, the board unanimously approved an action to accept the retirement of Johnson, rather than the resignation they had previously accepted. Johnson, the superintendent of the district for the past 12 years, informed the board last month that he would be stepping down to become an associate professor at St. Cloud State University.

There was little discussion on the matter at the board meeting Monday, with Board Chair Bill Spartz saying that the board was acting upon the advice of the legal counsel they had previously sought.
Spartz spoke with the Monticello Times Tuesday about the change from a resignation to retirement acceptance.

“We needed to get some clarification from legal counsel, and we’ve done that now,” said Spartz, adding that there were provisions in Johnson’s contract that needed to be looked at, and the board needed to decide what would be implemented in his separation agreement, which is scheduled to be an agenda item at the Aug. 7 board meeting.

Johnson said on Tuesday morning that he was glad to have the board accept his retirement, and that he had remained optimistic that things would shake out in this manner.

“It’s a relief to have it done,” he added.

Johnson, who has spent 18 years in the district, said he fully understood why the board went through the steps that they did during the past month.

“The board had to do their due diligence and I respect that,” he said. “They have a responsibility to the district to make sure they do things the right way.”

This Monday’s meeting will be Johnson’s final meeting as superintendent of the Monticello Public School District.

“Right now it doesn’t even seem real,” he said. “It will be odd to go in there for the last time. I’m sure there will be some emotion involved.”

Monday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the school district board room at the Monticello Middle School.

See next week’s Monticello Times for more information on the interim superintendent search, which was set to begin this week.

Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]