Another administrator has resigned from the Gibraltar School District at a time when the district is analyzing employee turnover and the professional climate for school staff.
Tim Mulrain, district Director of Learning, submitted his resignation notice. One month earlier, Secondary Principal Gereon Methner accepted a position in another district effective July 1.
Mulrain’s duties included serving as Director of Instruction and leading Gibraltar’s pupil services. In 2019, he was named Wisconsin School Counselor Association Supervisor/Administrator of the Year.
“He is very talented and we appreciate his outstanding work,” said school board president and retired superintendent Stephen Seyfer, in a press release.
Seyfer said the school board recognizes that administrators typically stay in one position in a district for four years, and Mulrain has been with Gibraltar for seven years.
“Only 11% stay in a school district for more than 10 years,” he said.
While the district is losing two administrators, the school board might not replace them both. The board this spring began discussing staff cuts, as well as having fewer administrators handle more duties. The district has had secondary-school and primary/elementary principals, and in many districts, principals handle curriculum and student-services duties.
Gibraltar’s prekindergarten through 12th-grade enrollment has been declining, mainly because of declining birth rates in northern Door County, Seyfer said. Enrollment projections put Gibraltar around 460 students, but the district has a big enough staff for 520-540 students.
Seyfer said he cannot make any connection that Mulrain’s resignation has any relation to the professional working environment in the school. However, the notice of resignations stand out in the wake of the January resignation of physics instructor Craig Carriere.
“I don’t know that there’s any linkage between the high school study, Dr. Methner and Mr. Mulrain,” Seyfer said. “What we will look at is we always try to find the best people we can and work with them as long as we can and help them go on to the next best place to be.”
The school board, including Seyfer, conducted interviews of current and former high school instructors this winter and received disconcerting feedback. Educators complained of a deterioration of trust and respect from administration, as well as change from a culture of collaboration to one of demands for compliance to mandates.
The resignation and staffing issues are expected to be discussed at the May 24 school board meeting.