Faribault Public Schools Board Chair John Currie brought over 40 years of education to the district, having taught middle school and served in as a superintendent in two Minnesota school districts.
Over the weekend, Currie announced his resignation. In a letter to Superintendent Todd Sesker, Currie cited medical issues as his reason for resigning.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the district for three years and I wish you and the district the best in the times to come,” Currie said in a release from the school district.
The school board will establish its next steps and a timeline for naming a new school board member in the coming weeks. Board Vice Chair Jason Engbrecht said Monday that the School Board is awaiting feedback on requirements in state law before deciding how to address the resignation. Based on that feedback, the board will know whether it can simply appoint a new chairperson or if it must hold a special election.
Before being elected to the Faribault School Board, Currie served for 41 years as a teacher, coach and administrator. He began his career as a math and science teacher. He worked in the Waseca School District for 20 years and was principal of Faribault Junior High for two before going to the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan schools in 1995 as principal of Black Hawk Middle School. He eventually became superintendent of the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district. During his tenure, this was the fourth-largest district in Minnesota with 28,000 students.
After retiring as superintendent of the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan following the 2008-09 school year, Currie was hired to lead the Medford School District. He retired from Medford in June 2013.
Currie served as a community member on the Faribault School District Finance Committee before he was elected to the Faribault School Board in November 2016. His term began in January 2017 and expires in December 2020.
“I first met John six years ago when he served as a community member on the Faribault Public Schools Finance Committee,” said Board Member Yvette Marthaler. “I feel we’ve benefited greatly from his experience, wisdom and leadership, and I think of him as both a colleague and a friend on the board.”
Knowing Currie’s wealth of education knowledge, Engbrecht recalls being thrilled to see him run for the School Board election in 2016.
“He didn’t disappoint,” said Engbrecht of Currie. “He was absolutely phenomenal to work with; calm, cool and collected, and he provided a voice of wisdom when trying to work through difficult tasks.”
In particular, Engbrecht said Currie helped the board make difficult decisions regarding the 2019 operating levy the district recently asked voters to pass in a special election. The community voted in favor of one out of two questions on the ballot, and as a result, Faribault High School will establish a seven-period day starting in fall 2020.
Engbrecht also commended Currie for thinking in terms of the “big picture” as a chairperson.
Sesker said Currie provided outstanding leadership during his time with the district.
“It was a pleasure having John as our school board chair. His dedication to the field of education helped lead our district in a positive direction throughout his tenure,” Sesker said.
Board member Chad Wolff said he looked to Currie as a personal mentor. Currie’s previous experience as a superintendent, principal and educator brought deep knowledge and wisdom to the board, said Wolff.
“He’s very intertwined with other peers throughout the state,” said Wolff. “There’s not a lot he hasn’t seen done before … he’s been through those types of [district] situations often so one can lean on him for support … He’ll be missed.”