WEEPING WATER – An interim superintendent will lead Weeping Water Public Schools for a minimum of 16 months after the previous superintendent resigned from the position.
Weeping Water Board of Education members approved a contract for Kevin Reiman at a special board meeting Feb. 21. Reiman signed his contract Feb. 25 and began serving in his position Feb. 26. He is replacing former superintendent Dr. Ken Heinz, who tendered his resignation to the board during a Feb. 13 meeting.
Heinz had been under contract as superintendent at Weeping Water through the 2019-20 academic year. He began a new contract in July 2018 that included an annual salary of $152,927.89.
Weeping Water Board of Education members went into closed session in a December 2018 meeting to talk about personnel issues. Board President Jason Brack announced after they had re-entered open session that the board would not automatically renew Heinz’s contract after the 2019-20 academic year. The motion passed 5-1 with Brack, Shawn Hammons, Robyn Larson, Jay Twomey and Adam DeMike voting in favor of it. Alan Horn voted against the motion.
Heinz delivered a superintendent report at the Jan. 9 and Feb. 13 meetings. The board approved a compensation agreement for Heinz at the Feb. 13 meeting and also accepted his resignation. The resignation was scheduled to be effective on June 30, 2019.
Board members approved a motion to hire Reiman as interim superintendent during a special meeting Feb. 21. The motion called for Reiman to begin the position immediately. Brack, Hammons, DeMike, Horn and new board member Brandon Nash all voted for the motion. New board member Mark Rathe was unable to attend the meeting.
Minutes from the Feb. 13 meeting also state that “Hammons moved to approve school district attorney investigative report exonerating superintendent.” That motion passed 6-0. Brack, Horn, DeMike, Hammons, Nash and Rathe all approved the motion.
Heinz became superintendent at Weeping Water in July 2012. He had served as superintendent at both Osceola and Centura before coming to Weeping Water.
Heinz helped oversee a large bond issue in the district during his tenure. Weeping Water voters approved more than $11 million in funds in 2013 for academic and activity facility improvements. A groundbreaking ceremony took place in March 2014 and a dedication ceremony happened in September 2015.
Heinz received the Nebraska Music Education Association Outstanding Administrator Award in November 2018. Teachers nominated him for his work with the district’s fine arts programs. He helped the school secure funding for new stage lights and curtains in the auditorium.
Reiman began his educational career at Weeping Water in 1993 as a science teacher and coach. He moved to Auburn in 1997 and served as the high school guidance counselor until 2003. He moved into a new role as assistant principal and activities director at Auburn that year and later became the AHS principal. He began serving as the Auburn superintendent in July 2011 and remained in that role until January 2019.
Reiman resigned from Auburn earlier this winter after the Auburn Board of Education placed him on paid administrative leave. A student fight had taken place in the Auburn school building in early January, and Reiman viewed a surveillance video of the incident on a television in his home. He wanted to get a better idea of how the situation had unfolded and what disciplinary steps should be taken.
At one point, one of his children made a joke and he laughed while the surveillance video was running on the television. Someone in the family captured the moment and posted it on social media.
Scores of people in the Auburn community showed up to a board meeting to support Reiman in January. Reiman later chose to resign because he felt the situation had been dividing the community and school district, and he did not want Auburn students to be negatively impacted in any way.
Reiman’s contract as interim superintendent at Weeping Water will run from Feb. 26, 2019, to June 30, 2020. He will receive a salary of $135,000. He will also receive standard benefits such as health insurance coverage and enrollment in a retirement plan.
Weeping Water board members will have an opportunity to extend Reiman’s contract past 2020. The board will conduct two evaluations during his time as interim superintendent. The first evaluation will take place June 30, 2019, and the second evaluation will happen Dec. 31, 2019.
“The board may wish to eventually promote the superintendent as the permanent superintendent of the district; however, the board reserves the right not to extend the superintendent’s contract beyond June 30, 2020,” Reiman’s contract states. “If the board elects not to extend the superintendent’s contract beyond June 30, 2020, this contract shall expire as a matter of law on June 30, 2020, and the superintendent hereby agrees to waive any and all rights (including those under the Tenure Act) to challenge that decision or hold a hearing before the board regarding that decision.”
The contract goes on to state that “both parties intend for the superintendent to continue in his employment beyond the term of this contract.” If Reiman decides not to continue in his role at Weeping Water, he must notify the board by Dec. 31, 2019.
If the board and Reiman are both satisfied with the superintendent arrangement, the contract states that board members would present Reiman with an extended contract no later than March 16, 2020.