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Community Education experiencing significant staff turnover

Coordinators hired to lead enrichment programs, integration collaborative.

 Sharon Johnson
Sharon Johnson<br/>
Submitted photo<br/>
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WORTHINGTON — District 518 Community Education has experienced minimal staff turnover during the last 10 years, however, significant staff changes are taking place this year.

Community Education involves five departments, and each department is led by its own coordinator. These five coordinators, along with me as director, comprise Community Education’s leadership team.

Recently, long-time enrichment program coordinator Anne Foley left Community Education to accept the position of ISD 518 communications and public relations coordinator. We wish her the best in her new role!

Foley’s departure started a bit of a domino effect. Soom Chandaswang was hired as the new enrichment program coordinator. Chandaswang previously worked as the Nobles County Integration Collaborative (NCIC) coordinator for nearly five years.

The open NCIC coordinator position was filled by Nancy Landeros, who has 10 years of experience working for ISD 518 and NCIC. Landeros most recently served as the NCIC cultural liaison. The cultural liaison position remains open and will be filled soon. We are thrilled to see these talented individuals advance.

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Community Education is also going through significant staffing changes in its frontline staff. In August, Petra Jimenez started as the administrative secretary. Petra previously worked as a secretary in the ISD 518 department of teaching and learning. The administrative secretary position was capably filled for 27 years by the late Sue Wurdeman.

In February, Community Education will experience another significant change; Rose Weitgenant will be retiring from her position as the Community Education secretary. Rose has provided training to new staff during this time of transition, and we wish her the best in retirement.

Refilling the secretarial position is being delayed until spring.

Several individuals left us to pursue other career opportunities, so new staff have joined our team this school year in all departments. New early childhood staff include teacher Morgan Brehmer and paraprofessional Teresa Bravo. New ABE staff include teachers Kesia Escalante Dominguez and Shawn Ranek, and paraprofessionals Elvia Brinks and Bah Blu Say.

In December, Lily Perez Ramirez started working as a Spanish-speaking Community Connector/Family Liaison. New hires at NCIC include Paulina Bouavichith as a youth development leader and Zawdee Liberty as a bilingual program aide.

Anyone interested in positions at Community Ed, NCIC or ISD 518 may apply through the district’s website, isd518.net. Employment is linked under the “district” tab.

All of these transitions have brought Community Education to a point of saying farewell to experienced colleagues and welcoming new staff members. Even more staff changes are on the horizon with upcoming retirements.

Even though change can be hard, we are embracing these changes as new opportunities for organizational growth. Fortunately, the Community Education staff will have time to gel as a group before our much-anticipated move to a new building sometime during next school year.

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We hope you’ll join us on the journey as we continue to provide high quality learning opportunities for area residents of all ages, now and in the future!

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