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Nicollet board discharges administrator

LCWM co-op proposal for wrestling fails on 3-3 vote

October 18, 2012
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

NICOLLET - After a 43-minute closed session Wednesday, the Nicollet School Board unanimously approved the immediate discharge of an administrator.

The name of the administrator was not revealed. Superintendent Jack Eustice said after the meeting that he would immediately assume the duties of activities director while Principal Jennifer Baumgartner would assume dean of students and community education director duties.

On Friday, Oct. 12, Nicollet Public School Activities and Community Education Director/Dean of Students Justin Berg was arrested by the Nicollet County Sheriff's Office and was booked on two felony theft charges for allegedly stealing $1,495 in school district concessions and ticket sales money this fall.

Berg was released without bail, according to Nicollet County Sheriff's Office Investigator Marc Chadderdon.

Berg is scheduled to appear in Nicollet County District Court at 8:15 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 27, according to the court administration office.

On Oct. 8, Nicollet school officials contacted the sheriff's office about the missing money after school staff report missing funds following numerous athletic events, according to a sheriff's office press release.

In other action items the board:

Failed to approve a wrestling cooperative proposal with Lake Crystal/Wellcome Memorial High School, by a 3-3 vote.

Board member Chad Johnson voted against the co-op, saying it's what is best for Nicollet's four best wrestlers but not anyone else.

"I was for it until they refused to recognize us. Small cooperatives become bigger ones. Giving up our name (Nicollet) is a big deal," Johnson said. "If we co-op, some kids won't make the team and quit. There's a reason little towns need to keep their name."

"Kids get what they can take. A good coach gets people to commit. This is a growth thing for these kids," Eustice said regarding athletics.

Earlier in the meeting, several parents talked about the importance of keeping a Nicollet team, personal and community pride.

Learned from Nicollet Student Council President and Student Board Representative Travis Bode that the student council is busy working on Operation Minnesota Nice, a non-profit, volunteer-based effort that gathers items and sends monthly "care" packages to overseas military members.

Volunteers are matched to soldiers believed to receive little or no mail.

The organization has adopted more than 5,000 military members and shipped them more than 40,000 boxes totaling more than 110 tons.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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