Gwinn School Board releases statement on Tufnell

Gwinn School Board President praised Kim Tufnell in a letter to the media regarding Tufnell’s resignation as Superintendent of Gwinn Area Community Schools:

“Our Board of Education is planning to schedule a special meeting ASAP to accept her resignation letter.

Ms. Tufnell graduated with an MA in Education in 2004 and began her employment with Gwinn at that time.  She has served  as Gwinn Middle School Principal and also  held  positions as Sex Education Coordinator, MEAP/MI Access and Special Education Coordinator during her time as principal.  She has teaching experience dating back to 1997 and has received numerous honors and awards during her years in education.

During her tenure as Superintendent she established   P.E.R.K. trips (Programs Encouraging Responsible Students), in which students, who qualified, were rewarded and able to  attend movies, bowling, skiing, Corn Maze, etc.  She began and started a tradition to send the 8th grade class to Great America, hired Rob Soyring, our Athletic director, and established  Parent/Community and Youth Advisory Committees.  She initiated a “ONE CALL” phone service which alerts parents, students and staff of possible school closures

Our District, as with many others, is in a financial crisis.  When faced with turbulent financial difficulties last year, she reduced the deficit by cutting almost $800,000 from the budget, which included the lay-off of seven teachers and various support staff.  These cuts were supported and accomplished through mutual respect, complete transparency, and compassion for all.  Our Board knew that this year more cuts would need to be made, and voted 5 to 1, with one member absent,  to close Gilbert Elementary School..  Sawyer School is larger than Gilbert and has 10 additional classrooms and a gymnasium and can accommodate all elementary students.  Additional cuts will need to be made in order to balance this year’s budget.

However,  Some members in the community are upset by our decision and have been trying to offer other solutions so that the Board will reverse their decision.   The decision was made in the best interest of all students from Gwinn, Little Lake, Skandia, Sands and West Branch.  

As Board President, I am sorry that she has decided to resign but I do understand.   Since January her integrity and competency have been challenged by several individuals thus making it impossible for her to function as Superintendent.

I personally wish her well in whatever road she follows.  She is a great educator, administrator and one of her many assets is that Ms. Tufnell really CARES ABOUT KIDS.”