East Grand School Board secretary makes allegations in resignation letter
Excerpts from former East Grand Board of Education secretary Sarah Berggren referring to Superintendent Jody Mimmack:
— “To say she is vengeful is a tremendous understatement ... Opinion sharing or honest collaboration cannot safely occur, because Jody’s reactions are so unpredictable and potentially volatile.”
— “Jody has knowingly misled you as a Board on a number of occasions, some of which I know you are aware, and others that have occurred in an effort to preserve her image.”
— “I have watched the District Office and Boardroom environment change from being vibrant and engaged to stale and subdued.”
— “She has infused a serious lack of professionalism and work ethic at the district level, evidenced by a complete lack of confidentiality and erosion of morale.”
Longtime East Grand School District Board of Education secretary Sarah Berggren resigned her position with the school district earlier this month.
At the Nov. 18 board meeting, Berggren presented the board with a letter informing them of her resignation and of her reasons for leaving.
The letter focuses on East Grand Superintendent Jody Mimmack, Ph.D. and what Berggren calls “her toxic leadership.”
The letter makes broad allegations of impropriety and even alleges violations of law have occurred between Superintendent Mimmack and the Board of Education. Berggren gives no specific examples of violations of the law in her letter.
The letter also claims, “contrary to her signed contract, she (Mimmack) has accepted additional paid contracts in adjunct professorship and principal coaching positions without your (the Board of Education) approval.”
Attempts to reach Berggren for comment were not successful. Several of her acquaintances said she has moved out of town, and her letter indicates that if she has not yet done so, she intends to.
Berggren had been the board secretary for more than a decade. Mimmack, who started working for the district in summer 2013, is the third superintendent Berggren served under.
Mimmack responded to the letter, saying, “I disagree with the content of the letter and I believe that the East Grand School District Board of Education and the staff and myself are doing excellent work on behalf of our students and the families in our communities.”
Mimmack declined to answer follow-up questions and said she would not make further statements.
East Grand School District President Taunia Shipman also provided a statement regarding the letter.
“The Board has been apprised of the concerns and allegations that were raised in Mrs. Berggren’s letter,” her statement says. “The Board recognizes that change is often difficult. Although there has been some resistance to Dr. Mimmack’s leadership, the Board is confident in her ability to foster a change in culture and to provide increased accountability in the district. The Board will continue to review and monitor this process and will respond when or if the Board feels actions are warranted.”
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