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Board chooses principal in Rock Falls

Superintendent's contract gets the OK

ROCK FALLS – Rock Falls High School Assistant Principal Mike Berentes will become the school’s next principal.

Wednesday night, the school board promoted Berentes, 41. He will take the new job July 1, replacing Principal Ron McCord, who is becoming superintendent. Jane Eichman is retiring as superintendent.

Officials said they had yet to draft Berentes’ contract, so they could not give the amount of his salary.

John Brackemeyer was the only board member to vote against the promotion.

He also was the only one to oppose McCord’s superintendent’s contract. McCord, whom the board selected in January as superintendent, will get paid $120,000 annually under a 3-year contract.

The members supporting Berentes and the superintendent’s contract were Harold Wagner, Merle Gaulrapp, John Howard and Howard Janssen. Tom Cushman and Tim Nehrkorn were absent.

After the meeting, Brackemeyer declined to comment on his votes.

“I’ll let it go for now,” he said.

Berentes, a Rock Falls High alumnus, was hired in 2010. He previously was Freeport High School athletic director. His father, Mike Sr., was a coach and athletic director at Rock Falls High School.

The board voted on Berentes and the superintendent’s contract after a 1 1/2-hour closed session in which members said they discussed personnel and student disciplinary issues.

After the closed session, the board voted to expel a student for the rest of the school year. Eichman declined to give the reason.

At the end of the meeting, board member Harold Wagner, who decided against running for re-election in April, told his colleagues that he enjoyed working with them. He had a special request for Brackemeyer.

“Would you do me a favor? My granddaughter is graduating. Will you give her her diploma?” he said. “She knows you.”

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