Through action at the Wednesday, June 9 school board meeting, and a press release given after the meeting via email, Nodaway Valley announced they have reached an agreement for Darrell Burmeister, who took early retirement from his teaching position this school year, to retain the position of boys cross country coach at the school.
“We are happy to announce we have reached a resolution between the coaches involved and the administration in filling the current Nodaway Valley cross country positions for the fall of 2021,” the release said. “Whether miscommunication or misunderstandings, the issues have now been resolved and we are ready to mend any hard feelings and get back to the task of working toward what is best for our students and athletes and begin the process of healing and uniting the communities.
“All parties involved are satisfied with this resolution and want nothing but the best for our student athletes, the Nodaway Valley School District, and the communities of Bridgewater, Fontanelle and Greenfield. Going forward, we feel the steps taken as a result of this will lead to a more improved decision making process and conflict resolution if any arise.”
At the May board meeting, staff contracts were approved, with Jeremy Blake named boys basketball coach with Chase Green named boys and girls cross country coach and boys track coach.
Social media support and an online petition in the interim from Burmeister’s former students and athletes sought to raise community support for him to continue coaching at least a portion of the sports he has coached over his long career.
At the June board meeting, five different people of varying relation to Burmeister — former assistant coaches, parents of runners, and former runners themselves — spoke to the school board of his love for the sports he coaches, his love for developing student athletes, the loyalty he has shown to what he does and the community he has lived in for so long.
Burmeister took over the cross country programs in 1996. Since then, the teams have had at least one individual qualifier and one or both teams qualifying for state each year. They’ve had 11 teams finish top-3 at state, including five state champion teams, four runners-up and two third place.
Blake will still coach the boys basketball program in the upcoming season. Green, who is currently an assistant girls track coach, will coach the girls cross country and boys track teams.
Resignations received by the school board include Taylor Brittain as high school ag teacher and FFA advisor, Jamie Held as high school teacher, Janace Nester as first grade teacher, Shelbie Haidsiak as second grade teacher and Megan Emerson as preschool assistant teacher.
Contracts received by the board include Talli Ramey as middle school counselor, Nick Thompson as facilities manager, Sharon Wagner as middle school head cook, Michael Lochmoeller as a special education para, Debbie Sickles as a lunch worker, Bobbi Williams as a small vehicle driver, Allen Marnin as assistant activities director, Green as head girls cross country coach and Burmeister as head boys cross country coach.