13 Brainerd teachers granted tenure

Teachers are awarded tenure after three outstanding years of teaching in the district or after one year if they were previously tenured in another district.

Washington Educational Services Building
Washington Educational Services Building in Brainerd. Dispatch file photo
Dispatch file photo

Thirteen Brainerd Public Schools teachers earned tenure beginning in the 2021-22 school year.

“This is always extremely exciting for me,” Superintendent Laine Larson said during the school board meeting Monday, May 24, before board members approved the tenure.

“To gain tenure is really a huge accomplishment in a professional career of a teacher, and I want to commend all of these people,” Larson added. “And we’ll send letters on behalf of the board of education to say, ‘Well done, congratulations and thank you for your commitment to children and making a difference in the lives of our future.’”

Brainerd Public Schools teachers gain tenure after three outstanding years of teaching in the district or after one year if they were previously tenured in another district. Earning tenure means teachers can only be terminated for a justifiable reason or under extreme circumstances.

Those granted tenure are: Todd Blowers, Tess Capelle, Tanika Clements, Tammy Exum, Jennifer Fundine, Wynter Hopson, Brett Johnson, Courtney Miltimore, Lorry Parrish, Suzanne Rye, Christine Tangen, Amanda Toft and Cara White.


Board Chair Bob Nystrom added his own note of gratitude to the 13 teachers.

“Congratulations to all of these teachers,” he said. “They’ve worked hard, and we are just so thankful for the work that they do.”

In other business Monday, the board:

Approved new hires: Tanika Clements, technology and STEM integrationist at Baxter Elementary (transfer); Tonya Dill, eighth grade language arts teacher at Forestview Middle School; Lorie Duevel, special education autism spectrum disorders teacher at Brainerd High School; Courtney Haugstad, district nurse at Forestview; Bethany Maus, agriculture teacher at BHS; Austin Polcaro, physical education teacher at Riverside Elementary; Joselyn Rhein, occupational therapist at Paul Bunyan Education Cooperative; Alaine Sandberg, special education transition plus teacher at Lincoln Education Center; Brittney Sanders, special education emotional and behavior disorder teacher at Forestview; Emma Webster special education autism spectrum disorder teacher at Baxter Elementary; Hannah Habermann, districtwide substitute paraprofessional; Brenna Hansen, adult basic education secretary at Forestview; districtwide Allec Hins, part-time custodian substitute; Theresa Krutchen, nurse at Lowell Elementary; Joshua Larson, districtwide part-time custodian substitute; Raven Mitchell, districtwide part-time custodian substitute; Lacey Reynolds, child care site supervisor at Washington Educational Services Building; Gregory Springer, event worker at BHS; and Laurie Stephens, districtwide assistant cook.

Approved the hiring of child care program assistants: Marbeth Abraham, Oliver Bengtson, Jennifer Caughey, Pam Cook, Leanne Hansen, Marcie Hoffman, Bailey Schuler, Mary Stumm and Laura Wells.

Accepted donations to the district: $200 from Brainerd Lakes Area Woman of Today for early child and family education scholarships; $13,700 from Brainerd Blue Line Boosters for the BHS hockey program; and $8,570.03 from Brainerd Warrior Football Association for the BHS football program.

Approved safety and security changes at BHS with the project not to exceed $58,005.42. The work involves updates to the security system to get all keycards, doors, etc. throughout the building on the same system.

Approved schematic designs for a remodel to the high school’s A-wing, which includes the addition of learning commons areas and updates spaces for science, language arts, special education and Northern Pines Mental Health offices.


Accepted proposals from All State Communications for access control and video surveillance systems at Lowell, Garfield and Riverside elementary schools at a total cost not to exceed $340,732.

Dissolved the cooperative sponsorship with the Pillager School District for the wrestling program, as Pillager does not currently have any high school wrestlers and is working to shift many of its cooperative agreements south toward Little Falls.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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