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River Crest Elementary Principal Travis Barringer Resigns

One factor in Barringer's decision to leave the Hudson School District "is the negativity and unjust public criticism directed at administrators throughout my three years in Hudson,” he wrote in a letter to the Hudson Board of Education.

The Hudson School District will lose another principal at the end of the school year.

River Crest Principal Travis Barringer announced his resignation effective June 30. Barringer was recruited by and accepted an elementary principal position with the North St. Paul, Oakdale, Maplewood School District in Minnesota.

Barringer is the second principal to announce he is leaving the district in the last three weeks.

  • UPDATED: Hudson High School Principal Laura Love Resigns
  • Peg Shoemaker Appointed New Hudson High School Principal

In his letter to the Hudson Board of Education, Barringer stated:

“River Crest is a strong community of students, families, and staff dedicated to the social-emotional and academic achievement of each student. I am proud of the success students have achieved during my three years as principal. My resignation from River Crest is not done without careful consideration and I was not actively seeking another principal position.

"I have been offered an opportunity to lead a school with a unique multi-age configuration, something for which I have a passion. The compensation package is significant enough to be another factor in my decision to resign from River Crest. An additional factor in my decision to leave the Hudson School District is the negativity and unjust public criticism directed at administrators throughout my three years in Hudson.” 

In response to Barringer’s resignation, Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten stated:

“We have been fortunate to benefit from Mr. Barringer’s leadership over the last three years. He has worked collaboratively with staff members and parents to make River Crest a very special caring learning environment for students. He has been a positive role model for students, and the impact of his leadership will be felt even after his departure.”

The district is moving forward immediately with the selection process to identify a new River Crest principal.

The district currently has Willow River Elementary’s principal position advertised, and according to the district, this will generate principal candidates for both schools.

The district plans to make a recommendation for a new River Crest principal on June 11 to the Board of Education.

Paine Reliever April 23, 2013 at 03:14 AM
So, if we follow the line of thinking of Mike and vested interest, it is all the fault of the administration and pressure from the superentendant that two principles have gone on to greener pastures and lied about thier reasons for leaving. Isn't it more believable that the anti public education crowd have ridiculed salaries of teachers and administration even if those salaries are less than other districts are paying. Maybe the continued do more with less attitude with classroom space plus lack of competitive pay plus constant criticism have reached the point where we will lose teachers and administrators.
T. Hauschildt April 23, 2013 at 03:45 AM
If I was in the private sector, I would hire MEB in a heart beat.(read on) She is an individual that can sell ice to polar bear. There are those that are company oriiented and those that have personal motives. A company individual will give 100 percent regardless of compensation while an individual will need to be rewarded for everything they do no matter the outcome. We elect a school board to decide the better of the two, Unfortunately we sometimes miss. Public outcry is venting of our own mistakes; voting a change, is our action. The majority of our educators and supporting staff are top notch, Lets make sure our top is were it needs to be to control costs...and personnel.
Captain Midnight April 23, 2013 at 04:12 AM
Try writing a comprehendible sentence and possibly people might understand what you are attempting to say. It is not a lie that there is a sense of negativity in the area... it is a fact. So exactly where does "liberal run town" come into play? If one wants to see negativity one only needs to read the post by ACE. Perfect example dude.
Captain Midnight April 23, 2013 at 05:09 AM
On her blog on The Patch, School Board member Sandy Gehrke is now criticizing the recent decisions regarding salary actions made by the Board. These votes have been consistently 5-1 which Ms. Gehrke being the chronic dissenting voice. When one Board member continuously votes against most Bosrd actions, it makes one question what her "agenda" is. She speaks of continuing to "vote her conscience", which is a polite way of saying I'm going to continue to vote against progress. This speaks volumes in support of the "Negativity" which has been mentioned in this discussion thread. I have asked on her blog whether or not she is following the "agenda" of the various anti-public school organizations funded by the foundations of the extreme Right DeVos family. She hasn't had an opportunity to respond yet. I also asked if she is a representative of the Voucher crowd.
Scott Erlenborn April 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Well said.
Hudsoner April 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Come on Captain. Why doesn't it seem unusual that five members of the school board always vote for things that suit the super? Never one descending vote from the group of five? And Sandy always descending? Have you ever asked the five board members whether or not the are the rubber stampers of the super? To me it seems as unusual that five board members always vote in lock stock and barrel with each other, as it seems that one individual board member is always against.everything.
R Stime April 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Hudsoner, Is it coincidence that you have only posted negative opinions about our superintendent since your wife, a teacher left the district after not receiving a requested salary increase? Ironic that now you are defending Sandy Gerhke, the one board member that is a guaranteed no vote for any pay raise as her voting record shows.
Debra April 23, 2013 at 12:56 PM
I would like Mr. Barringer and Mrs. Love to give specific examples of what they consider negative and unjust public criticism directed at administrators. And who they feel are responsible for this criticism. Is it a minority or a majority of Hudson citizens?
ACE April 23, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Why should any public school worker be getting any type of pay increase? We are all making budget cuts in our lives, but we should make sure they all keep making more money.....By the way, the two people who claim to be leaving in part due to the "negativity"....I though all you cared about was the children? Doesn't look like it....never did. I also agree with the fact that some people only question Sandy's votes, but have no problem with FIVE people, who seem to be in TOTAL agreement on EVERYTHING not being odd or having an agenda at all.
Hudsoner April 23, 2013 at 02:54 PM
My wife did not leave the Hudson School district because a financial disagreement (after all, she now works as a part time person at Trader Joe's). My wife is still the only National Board Certified master Teacher for German in the State of Wisconsin (there is nobody with her credentials in Minnesota). My wife left because she did not want to continue to work under the dictatorial administration. And I am not defending Sandy Gerhke (why would I, I don't know her), but I just wonder about the School Board and their funny ways of fulfilling the will of the people that elected them. Sandy seems to be the only person on the board that is calling for checks and balances, everybody seems to excitingly do what ever the administration is requesting .
R Stime April 23, 2013 at 03:01 PM
@Ace, or is the economy, housing market, stock market improving? We can't use the economy argument forever. If the fact is that our teachers are falling behind the competition, we will lose the best teachers and admin to the districts that pay better and have better facilities and public support. As far as how the vote goes, it just may be that the other five are making an intelligent vote and Sandy's vote is the one not in the best interest of the community. There are those that thirst for negativity and Sandy is their flag waver. So be it. Two people have left the district and have noted public negativity and treatment of administration as one of the reasons. Why would they lie? Burning bridges?? That makes no sense.
Hudsoner April 23, 2013 at 03:04 PM
@ACE I do think that teachers deserve a pay increase. Teaching is a tough job, the teachers have to be on stage the entire school day. Kids are critical they don't give them any break. Not only do they need to be "on stage" we want them to to a lot of quality knowledge transfer (and the test scores show that they do a very good job). None of my top performing coworkers in private industry (and I was my entire working life in private industry) who have a similar education level as our Hudson teachers have, would work for the little money our teachers are expected to work for 10 and more hours every day! I think our teachers are way underpaid! Sandy Gerhke may have a different opinion, but that is what differentiates us, our opinions on some subjects. However, I still appreciate it that she raises her doubts about any payment increases, because it is her job as a school board member to look at all issues from all sides!
R Stime April 23, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Interesting, I have read many of your posts and while yes, you have mentioned dictatorial management as one of the reasons, you also many times lamented that your wife was not paid according to her "master teacher status." So to hang your hat on her dictatorial style as the only reason your wife left is not being honest. My point is that Sandy never has or in my opinion never will vote yes for any pay increase as a board member even if our teachers are proven to be underpaid in the market. Those on this thread that think that the persons resigning made up comments about public negativity are just trying to defend against the obvious. I suggest you get to know Sandy Hudsoner.
Pasque April 23, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I would agree with Captain Midnight. I have been embarrassed by the demonstration of some members of the community and the Hudson Common Council toward the school district. There seems to be an extreme current of negativity that must affect all that work within the school district. I don't blame principals or other employees for moving on to an environment that is more supportive and collaborative. I hope that the Hudson School District continues with its exemplary work despite the onslaught of vitriol from some segments of the community. Again, it is embarrassing.
Captain Midnight April 23, 2013 at 04:58 PM
If I were a candidate for Principal of a school I would not look at the Hudson District because of the constant carping, bitching and whining from a group of "professional" complainers. The fact that the worthless Hudson Common Council acted in a cowardly fashion concerning the rezoning of the "dog track" property and now its constant waffling about whether or not it will agree to provide utility service to the UU property makes it nearly impossible for the School Board to make rational decisions about buildins and locations. If I were a conspiracy theorist i would not find it difficult to think that the Council was part of the "naysayer" group. The students and teachers of the Hudson School District constantly win awards which demonstrates that something is being done correctly. However the negative crowd drowns out the good results that are being achieved. Why would a solid professional educator want to work in this environment.
bblair April 23, 2013 at 06:17 PM
It's time to play "Colossal School Board Blunders." The show that puts you in the decision making role over a hypothetical School District and its employees. I'm Smelby Tightbottom and I'll be your host. Lets get started. (remember all characters are fictional and any resemblance to any actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental) In today's' dilemma, you are a School Principal in an Administration that is ruled with an iron hand. Not wanting to be associated with the questionable leadership of this glowingly unpopular regime, how does one depart and still get a recommendation that will allow your career to continue. Should you ...A) Give up your dreams of advancement and subdue your inhibitions by drinking to excess. B) Put on a boot-licking campaign and fuel the Superintendent's personal agenda by writing false statements about the Administration's opposition. C) Shoot your career in the foot and state the real reason you are resigning is to separate yourself from a suspect Administration that is lead by a "Nazi Cow." D) Get your car up to top speed and take on the wall at the end of Third Street (had a friend that tried this one and to this day he's not right, but he's happy.)..E) Blow the whistle on these people and give the good people of the District some rest. This ones a real "sticky wicket" as we British say but do your best and be on your way! Heck I'm a real Longfellow. So long....
Hudsoner April 23, 2013 at 08:56 PM
R Stime, yes I complained that my wife was not paid according to her status, and I also say that no teacher is paid well to match their educational level, but the reason that she left was just because of the management. At that time she wrote a letter to the editor about this, and she wrote a similar letter to every school board member but did not get a single reply from them addressing her concerns. My wife was very well qualified to address these discussion, because she also has a business management and communications degree (prior to becoming a teacher she worked for that big company across the river, the same company I worked for). And again, money was never mentioned as a reason that she resigned form her job!
Peter, Hudson, Wis. April 23, 2013 at 10:48 PM
The DeVos Foundation? Shine some light on that one. Please post if Gehrke certifies as a member of the voucher crowd. As for the detractors of public education, and who indirectly or directly say "problem solved" with a different superintendent, the late William Sapphire coined a phrase that describes them as "nattering nabobs of negativism."
TT13 April 23, 2013 at 11:28 PM
@ Captain Midnight - if you thought that raising the administration salaries would retain the talented, then your theory has just been proved wrong. I would suggest that the superintendent's departure would be a step in the right direction to turning things around in Hudson.
TT13 April 23, 2013 at 11:30 PM
@ BBlair - I vote for E: "Blow the whistle on these people and give the good people of the District some rest."
TT13 April 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Here’s a little help for MBE: Mukwonago Schools is hiring a superintendent; so is Monona Grove, WI. Both locations are substantially closer to Appleton, home of Hoffman Architects, and BFF Paul Hoffman. Just sayin’…
Paine Reliever April 24, 2013 at 12:01 AM
So bblair/John Windolff has just called our superintendent a "Nazi cow" and he wonders why we have negativity. Bblair/John Windollf is a big supporter of Sandy Gerhke. Just sayin.
Dirk A. April 24, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Captain Midnight - The Hudson City Council was looking out for the residents of the city, which is their first priority. They acted wisely and should be commended for it, not ridiculed for having a spine and speaking out against the strong-arm tactics of MBE and company. Tell me, are you a resident of the city or do you live outside the city limits and consider Hudson as the financial provider for everyone in the area?
Peter, Hudson, Wis. April 24, 2013 at 01:31 AM
Never said a word about salary. Did not imply salary or pay. But since the issue surfaced, at the Patch candidates' forum, held at the Phipps, remember one of the candidates did his homework and mentioned the superintendent returned some salary when the tax base eroded and the stock market collapsed. The unarticulated question is whether a private corporate voucher-based system subverts an accountable public- based system.
Captain Midnight April 24, 2013 at 02:29 AM
@Dirk... I live within the Hudson City Limits. My beef with the City Council is that let the voters and the School Board think that it would make a valid review of the situation after the referenum. It did, but it wasn't a valid discussion because the situation of tax loss to the City of Hudson was not new... the Council knew that before the referendum. It also is not rocket science to determine, yes or no, that utility service can be provided to the UU location. Again the Council waffles and dithers. @Peter....These organizations: The American Education Reform Council, Choices for Children, and Children First America?are funded by the anti-public education DeVos family foundations. Their goal is to gradually privatize the education system through the use of vouchers.
J April 24, 2013 at 03:23 AM
bblair, you seem to have overlooked an important part of this. BOTH Ms. Love and Mr. Barringer were RECRUITED by another district. Neither of them needed a recommendation from MBE to obtain their new statuses.
Vested Interest April 24, 2013 at 06:42 AM
Are you saying you are opposed to parents having the freedom to choose where their kids go to school Captain? Would you care to tell us what your definition of freedom is? Are you going to tell us that the institution of public education is more important than our liberty to choose where we send our kids to get an education? Please fill us in on that one Captain - I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for that response.
Mike April 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Well said.
ACE April 26, 2013 at 04:32 AM
I would love to see the public education system shut down....government can't run anything properly. I thought choice was a key word for the left...oh, nope, no choice allowed...except to kill the innocent....yep, that choice we like....All other choices we want to control through the government.
Captain Midnight April 30, 2013 at 02:32 AM
@ACE.... stick to the topic. If you are a product of the public school system, perhaps you are correct tht it should be shut down. However you are the exception, perhaps. Who runs the highway, road system and street systems that you drive on? Who operates the air traffic control system that keeps planes from falling out of the sky? Who runs the Army, Navy, Airforce and Marines? Who put people on the moon? Who operates the Space Station? Who funded and developed the Internet? Surely you can do better than that old "government can't run anything properly"? Have you had an original thought of your own? @Vested Interest... I'm not at all against having parents having the freedom to chose where their kids go to school. I myself went to a non-public grade school which my parents paid for; I went to a public high school and then graduated from a private university. My parents nor I asked for taxpayer money to pay for the elementary school nor for the university. The public school system in this country has been with us since the colonial days and has served this country well. If some parents choose to have their children educated at other schools, it is their choice and they are free to do so. However I choose not to pay for that education. It's as simple as that. No freedoms infringed upon and no liberty taken away.

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