Board considers complaint about boys hockey coachThe Cloquet School Board will wait until after the hockey season to finalize an ongoing evaluation of Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys’ head hockey coach Dave Esse.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The Cloquet School Board will wait until after the hockey season to finalize an ongoing evaluation of Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys’ head hockey coach Dave Esse.
The board met in closed session for an hour at its Monday night meeting to review a complaint filed by a parent of a current Lumberjack player, according to Cloquet Schools Superintendent Ken Scarbrough.
“The complaint pertained to Coach Esse’s coaching,” Scarbrough said. He did not go into specifics, citing privacy considerations.
District policy allows the board to meet in closed session to evaluate an employee, Scarbrough said, provided a board member wishes to place such an evaluation on the agenda. Esse is not under investigation, according to Scarbrough, but is being evaluated.
Cloquet High School Activities Director Tom Lenarz also took part in the closed session.
Scarbrough said he received the parent’s complaint a week ago, and met with Lenarz and Esse prior to the board meeting in an atmosphere that was “private, but very productive.” He said the board would continue to gather data for its evaluation through the remainder of the season.
Esse said Monday that he would have no comment on the complaint.
Esse, who played hockey at Cloquet High School and later at UWS, is in his 14th season as head coach of the Lumberjacks.
Under his guidance, CEC has made two of the program’s five state tournament appearances, in 2002 and 2008. His career record is 220-137-21 after Saturday night’s 4-2 win over Stillwater.
In a much shorter regular meeting, the board also:
+ Scheduled Monday, Feb. 25 as the date of an organizational meeting with representatives of Education Minnesota-Cloquet on a new two-year contract between the district and teachers. The successor agreement, as outlined in the union’s letter to Board Chair Gary Huard, would run from 2013-2015.
+ Engaged the services of Wipfli, LLP of Duluth for the purpose of conducting the district’s annual audit. Wipfli recently purchased the district’s former accounting firm, Eikill and Schilling. Business Manager Kim Josephson said the new company will perform the same services as the old in conducting the annual audit.
+ Selected two agencies to interview for the purpose of serving as the district’s insurance consultant. Current consultant Paul Pederson of Eagan, Minn. and Steve Micke of Reliable Insurance Agency of Cloquet will be interviewed by the board at a future date.