Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine’s Metras out as administrator

PEMBINE, Wis. — The superintendent of the Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine School District has reportedly stepped down due to “health-related issues.”

The school board Wednesday accepted Chris Metras’ resignation, effective Jan. 1. Clerk Tina Duenweg read a prepared statement, signed by board president Vicki Fink, at the meeting that said while the board could provide only limited information, Metras was leaving because “he has a planned surgery for some health-related issues.”

“We wish Mr. Metras our very best for a speedy recovery,” the prepared statement read, also thanking him for his service to the district.

District Principal Julie Rittenhouse will take over until a new superintendent is found, the board said.

Dozens of people attended the meeting to show support for Metras, who has been with the district for 4 1/2 years. Several questioned why he would step away for knee surgery that has been planned for some time.

“I am concerned for our school and for the Metrases. The way that the termination of Chris Metras’ employment was been handled has caused fear, uncertainty and doubts in many peoples’ minds. It is distracting our teachers and disrupting the education of our children,” Brent Griffin said.

When he talked to a school board member about the matter, he was told he should just trust his elected officials.

“When my personal knowledge of Chris Metras and the recent developments are combined, I personally am struggling to ‘just trust my elected officials,'” he said.

“It seems to me that if the board did not want to continue with Chris as the superintendent that it would have been better for all involved for them to own his decision, rather than to orchestrate things that Chris is bearing the weight of the wild accusations people are making in the current unclear situation,” Griffin added.

“I don’t know what transpired but I do know, although we might not have seen eye to eye, he was respected by students, staff and community members,” staff member Vince Czahor said. “This does not sit well … It has led to rumors flying, not only in our school but in our community.”

Dave Johnson believes something is amiss. “I don’t know what made the board come to the decision to quote ‘accept Chris’ resignation.’ I believe it was a forced resignation. The rumors are going wild in this town. … I hope as a board you do not try to mask this.”

In a statement after the closed session, Vick said, “While they could not make any further comments on the situation, we would like to let everybody know there will be a future public meeting where we will have a little more information about how we’re going to proceed as a district. This board is committed to getting us through this situation as efficiently, effectively and quickly as possible.”