MENNO SCHOOL BOARD NON-RENEWS RICE
Tom Rice will not return to his position of superintendent/high school principal at Menno next school year, and it’s not by his own choice.
Meeting in regular session Monday night, May 9, the Menno School Board of Education approved four administrative contacts: Sheila Wek and Emily Sayler each as a half-time administrative assistant, Kory Foss as elementary/middle school principal, and Dale Weiss as business manager.
A renewed contract for Rice was not included in the motion.
The action came after about two hours in executive session.
Brent Rames, who is president of the school board, said his only comment was that Rice’s name was not listed on the motion for approval, and that “all personal issues are handled in executive session.”
Rice is just finishing his second school year at Menno.
“I’m obviously disappointed,” he told The Courier Tuesday morning. “This was clearly a case of a person or persons who didn’t like the way I was doing things and they acted accordingly.”
“Administrators are not perfect; we are human,” he continued. “After 30 years in education, I’m baffled.”
Rice expressed affection for the students and those he worked with, especially in the business office.
“I absolutely love the kids, and my office staff has been absolutely wonderful,” he said. “And many of the teachers I have worked with have been an absolute joy.”
He said he will look for employment elsewhere.
Rice, who had previously been at Gayville-Volin, was hired by the Menno School Board in 2020 to replace Dr. Charlene Crosswait. Crosswait had been the superintendent since 2016 but stepped down at the request of the board, who at the time said they wanted to go a different direction with its leadership, according to then-board president Jill Haberman.
The Menno School Board is currently advertising for Rice’s replacement, as well as several other positions. See the employment ad on page 11A.