2009-10-25 / News

Rundborg steps down as STC elementary principal

Five-year principal voluntarily steps down to save staff jobs
By Hillary Grigonis Staff Reporter

ST. CHARLES – St. Charles Superintendent Michael Wallace described 5-year elementary principal Jim Rundborg as a “solid educational leader who cared about both his students and his staff.”

And that’s part of the reason Rundborg will be stepping down on November 6.

The district began discussing potential staff cuts to help ease the budget for the upcoming school year. “I was the only one that wasn’t local. I told [Wallace] that I would start looking,” he said.

Wallace said Rundborg’s decision will help the district to save nearly $50,000 this year to help retain student programs during the economic crisis.

“Work-wise, I could work anywhere,” Rundborg, a Dewitt resident, said. “I didn’t want anyone else to get cut because of me. I’ll go find something and I’ll save someone else’s job.”

Rundborg recently found a position with Central Michigan University, working as a liaison between the university and their charter schools.

The board of education accepted Rundborg’s resignation during the Oct. 21 meeting.

Board president Joe Wilkins said that Rundborg was part of a team that transitioned two elementary schools into one, helping “difficult situation [to be] made seamless.”

Rundborg worked as principal of both Miller and Patterson elementary before helping the district make the transition to a single elementary in 2006. Rundborg, who is also the mayor of Dewitt, has worked in education since 1974, serving in administration for 24 years and teaching for 11.

“The people in St. Charles are wonderful people and the kids are phenomenal,” Rundborg said. “…Its hard for all of us to [discuss cuts]. All the kids in my building I’ve been with since kindergarten. I would feel bad if we had to cut a teacher or a parapro and I just couldn’t do that.”

Rundborg’s vacancy will be filled by Sue Bruno, currently the administrator in charge of career and community education, early child services, daycare and preschool. Bruno will continue to lead the early childhood programs. St. Charles high school teacher Brady Lake will take some of the career center responsibilities as other teachers pick up a few of his classes.

The school board has discussed several ideas to help ease anticipated budget deficits as the state cuts per pupil aid. The group unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday to consider county-wide consolidation services. The district lead the way with the idea earlier this year by inviting all the Saginaw county districts to brainstorm ways to share services and cut down costs.

Michigan may cut aid by up to $600 per pupil for the upcoming school year, Wallace said.

“I’d like to go into that well educated,” said board member Jim Swartzendruber. “…We can no longer just sit back and say its not going to affect students. If the state of Michigan continues as it is, it is going to affect kids.”

“Jim is right. It’s going to start affecting students,” Wallace said. “It has started today and it is going to continue. I want to avoid making major cuts at the end of the semester, but we are going to look a lot different next year.”

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