BEATRICE – The Beatrice Public School District will be facing an administrative shuffle this coming school year.  Elementary Principal Kevin Janssen is resigning his position with Beatrice Public Schools. Earlier, long-time Elementary Principal Betty Replogle informed the district of her plans to retire from her position, at the end of this school year.

Janssen, a Principal for Stoddard and Lincoln Elementary Schools, has been with the district for seven years…and has been in education so far, for a total of 18 years. He came to Beatrice from Cedar Bluffs, where he was a teacher, coach and administrator.

Beatrice Public Schools Superintendent Jason Alexander says the district will soon begin advertising for a principal for the new prekindergarten to fifth grade school, scheduled to open in time for the start of the 2024-2025 school year. Alexander says there’s been some internal candidate interest in that position, within the district.

Meanwhile, the Beatrice School Board authorized the Superintendent and a committee to move forward with the purchase of furnishings and equipment for the new building, at an amount up to $1.1 million. Superintendent Alexander says the low-bidding company has a price under that amount.  "The reason for the $1.1 million authorization is that it may be lower, but we just want to have room in case there are any alternates that may come about in that discussion with School Specialty, that we'd like to make changes, for. That's the reason, and that's where we're at."

School Specialty had the lowest of two bids submitted for the furnishings, totaling $968,146. A second company’s bid totaled $1,104,658. The district is moving forward with the furnishings project before the end of this year, to have enough time to properly equip the building by the start of next school year. Board member Doris Martin says the district may also be able to use some furnishings already on hand.  "This doesn't mean that we're not going to move usable furniture that's in the current buildings. This is only for furniture that is either needed to be replaced or will enhance the learning opportunities for students."

The Beatrice Educational Foundation has a capital campaign underway to help raise funds for furnishings and equipment. Recently, the school announced the campaign has brought in over $300,000, so far.

Monday night, the board of education also approved an adjustment to the end of this school year, regarding the last day of classes for prekindergarten to fifth grade…moving the end of the year for students to an earlier date of May 17th. Alexander says that will provide some extra time for instructors to prepare for the move to the new school building.  "This allows our staff time to get their materials together and packed up, before they exit for summer vacation."

School Board President Eric Trusty says the district will meet its requirements for the number of student hours and instruction days.  The new school will replace three elementary buildings and a preschool building, which were all constructed in the 1950s.

The Beatrice School Board has approved a new contract with the district’s leader. It is a two-year contract between the district and Superintendent Jason Alexander.  Board President Eric Trusty says it includes an overall compensation increase of 2.75 percent. He praised Alexander for his leadership, especially with the new elementary construction project and helping the district through the impact of the pandemic.

Prior to the new contract, Alexander’s salary with the district was $192,500 for the current school year.