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La Vernia Connections: La Vernia voters replace school board; Harvey resigns
A torrent of voters in May completely changed the makeup of the La Vernia Independent School District board of trustees, replacing four incumbents with completely new faces. The shake-up was followed in October by the resignation of Superintendent Tom Harvey, who had served the district for nine years.
Replacing Mike Jendrusch, Richard Schier, John Bilicek, and Eric Friedrichs were Janette Chall, Kimi Kravitz, Susan Reinhard, and Dr. Cody Miller. Miller now serves as the board president. The new board approved the addition of soccer to the district’s athletics program for junior high and high school students, among other matters.
Following Harvey’s resignation in the fall, the trustees approved Linda Bettin as interim superintendent. She had served as the district’s assistant superintendent several years ago and had recently retired as Falls City ISD’s superintendent.
Another new face in the district is Kati Burke, hired in December as the district’s finance director. She replaces Laura Ramzinski, who announced her retirement in September.
The year brought closure to the district in one matter. Former La Vernia Junior High School Principal Maria Wildenstein was sentenced in November to seven years’ deferred adjudication probation and ordered to pay $31,591.97 in restitution, as part of a plea agreement. She pled “no contest” to misapplication of a fiduciary totaling more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, in connection with 23 checks belonging to the school’s activity fund.
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