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River Falls School Superintendent to resign at end of school year

RIVER FALLS - River Falls Superintendent Tom Westerhaus gave his resignation to the school board Thursday, Jan. 17.

Westerhaus's resignation will go into effect as of June 30. A few days earlier River Falls High School Principal Elaine Baumann turned in her letter of resignation for the end of the current school year.

Baumann just turned 62, and Westerhaus will soon turn 62.

Westerhaus is in his fifth year as superintendent of River Falls public schools. He has been in education all his life -- for 41 years -- 25 years as a superintendent.

"I submit this letter with mixed feelings," Westerhaus wrote to the school board. "When I arrived in River Falls, I promised to stay for at least five years, and I have met that commitment.

"...I am looking forward to being of more help to my aging parents in St. Michael, Minn.; to travel, bike and enjoy time with my supportive wife, Betsy; to be a larger part of the lives of my grandchildren, children, extended family members, and friends spread throughout the country...

"While I am offering to you and my successor any help you need from me to make the transition process smooth and successful, I will not interfere with the work of the next superintendent..."

Westerhaus succeeded Boyd McLarty in 2008. He has led the district as it has set up a range of community supported long-range planning goals.

Westerhaus has also been part of the 2011 referendum passage to upgrade and modernize all the district's schools. He also supported the recent start of a community education program for adults and, for this school year, a four-year-old kindergarten program.