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Wrenshall School Board fires technology director

The board voted to terminate the employee's contract following an investigation that revealed she said she could kill the district superintendent and that she cursed and yelled in the workplace.

Wrenshall School File.jpg
Wrenshall School
Clint Austin / 2021 File / Duluth News Tribune
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WRENSHALL — The Wrenshall School Board voted Wednesday, Aug. 25, to fire the district's technology director after an investigation found her conduct in the workplace "unacceptable," according to a termination letter that included comments she made saying she could kill the superintendent.

After a closed session discussion, the board members approved a resolution to include a letter in an employee's file. Board Chairperson Misty Bergman confirmed the letter terminated technology director Jamie Hopp's contract, effective immediately. Jack Eudy was the only board member to vote against the measure, while Cindy Bourn abstained from the vote.

According to the termination letter, the School Board considered the results of an investigation into allegations made about Hopp and allegations she made against another employee.

Hopp's contract was terminated in part because of a statement she made to another teacher May 13 that "if there were anyone in this world I could f***ing kill, it would be that f***ing super, I cannot stand her," the termination letter noted. "Super" refers to Wrenshall Superintendent Kimberly Belcastro.

The letter also stated the district's investigation revealed other incidents where Hopp cursed or yelled in the workplace, including times when she insulted other district employees using profanity.

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The letter, signed by Bergman, stated the conduct outlined is "unacceptable" and resulted in her firing.

In a submitted letter, Hopp said the allegations were hearsay and unproven.

Hopp claimed that it was because she was "targeted" by the superintendent because of her political beliefs.

In her letter, she claimed that she was no longer invited to staff meetings, received a write-up in her file for being political, and could only comment on technology-related matters during public meetings.

"If you go against the woke mob/squad they will come for you and they are loyal to their Puppet Master to a fault," she said in the letter.

The School Board also voted unanimously to extend the investigation into allegations of misconduct by an additional $3,000, after the previous cap of $10,000 was met. In an email to the Pine Journal, Bergman said the investigator, Isaac Kaufman, completed a preliminary report addressing some, but not all, of the allegations made. Bergman declined to provide details about the allegations still being investigated, citing Minnesota's Government Data Practices Act.

This story was updated at 12:43 p.m. Aug. 29 with comments from Jamie Hopp. It was originally posted at 1:53 p.m. Aug. 26.

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Related Topics: WRENSHALL SCHOOLSEDUCATION
Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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