Breitkreutz retires as school business manager

The Princeton School Board has accepted the resignation of Carol Breitkreutz as the district’s Director of Business Services, effective Tuesday this week.

Breitkreutz, who has been in the job 10 1/2 years, indicated last month her intent to resign and made it official to the board at its May 8 meeting. Board members and many in the audience gave a standing ovation in appreciation of her work.

“We want to thank Carol Breitkreutz for her exemplary service to the district over the decade,” said Superintendent Rick Lahn. “She has large shoes to fill. We’ll do our best to find someone to continue in her place. She definitely will be missed.”

When district staff learned of her resignation intentions, it began posting the position for applications last month. Interviews of applicants are planned May 21. It’s difficult to say when the new person who is hired can begin, Lahn said, adding that it may not be until July 1.

Breitkreutz said that “anybody who comes into my position will be very fortunate. My office staff here is wonderful. They will come into a very competent staff.”

Breitkreutz called the district “very financially stable compared to a lot of districts.” She credited Princeton school boards for being “fiscally responsible,” and said she feels good about leaving the district with the financial shape it is in. None of the district’s funds have any problems, she said.

Breitkreutz also gave the district good marks during her time on the job for making building repairs and doing renovations, upgrades and completing an addition.

Early in her job, the district discovered poor workmanship on the walls of the middle school that was not even a decade old. Breitkreutz worked with attorneys to get a settlement with those found to be at fault in the faulty construction, and then exterior wall reconstruction took place at the middle school over two summers.

Major heating and air conditioning installation and upgrades were done at both the high school and North Elementary during her time. There was also the recent remodelling and addition at North Elementary. There are still more much needed facilities improvements needed in the district, Breitkreutz said, mentioning a needed enlargement of the high school kitchen, as well as replacement of South Elementary as examples.

Breitkreutz, Lahn and a school board finance committee have already met to begin discussion on such issues.

Not all smooth sailing

Breitkreutz did have a rough spell on the job as a result of something that happened about four years ago. Details on this may never be made public and she did not want to comment on it when asked last week during her interview.

The school board on Jan. 27, 2009, authorized having the district make a payment of $15,000 to Breitkreutz relating to a disagreement she had with the district. Breitkreutz had been away from her job for several weeks, related to whatever problem she was having that led her to seek legal counsel. Her legal counsel maintained that Breitkreutz had viable legal claims relating to “harassment, discrimination, and retaliation” that she alleged she had endured. The school district’s legal counsel disputed the viability of those claims and settled the matter with Breitkreutz by both sides agreeing to a mutual denial of liability. Breitkreutz then released the district from any claims.

Breitkreutz calls her resignation a retirement and explains that it will give her more time to spend with her husband Jack Breitkreutz.