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Waverly school board president to face recall election
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Waverly school board president to face recall election

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Even prior to the pandemic, the United States had already been seeing a shortage of qualified teachers staffing its schools, but COVID-19 stress added to the burdens educators faced leading to burnout and early retirements. Steve M. Matthews, superintendent of the Novi Community School District in Michigan, joined Cheddar to discuss the lack of available teachers to keep kids educated. "I think the pandemic just exacerbated some of the issues and kind of pushed the momentum forward for a teacher shortage," he said.

The Waverly Board of Education is set to call a special election after a petition to recall its president moved forward.

Voters will get to decide whether to retain Ward 4 representative and board president Andy Grosshans in a mail-in election in January. The Waverly school board was set to approve a resolution convening the election Monday.

Petition circulators turned in the 88 signatures needed to force the election to the Lancaster County Election Commissioner's office last month.

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Rebecca Kellner-Ratzlaff, who is listed on LinkedIn as a preschool teacher at an early child care center in Waverly, filed for the recall petition in September after the board in July extended Superintendent Cory Worrell's pandemic emergency powers to the end of the 2021-22 school year.

"In passing this resolution, Mr. Grosshans silences the representation he was elected to uphold by his constituents," Kellner-Ratzlaff said in her request for petitions.

If Monday's resolution is approved, mail-in ballots would be sent to the nearly 1,400 voters in Ward 4, said Lancaster County Election Commissioner Dave Shively. Voters would have until 5 p.m. Jan 11 to return their ballot.

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Ward 4 includes areas of town south of U.S. 6 and Heywood Street and rural areas of Lancaster County directly south of town.

In response to the recall, Grosshans said in his more than 12 years on the school board, he has "worked hard to make well-informed decisions to provide the students of District 145 with a safe environment in which to receive an outstanding education."

Grosshans won reelection as a write-in candidate last year.

Voters across the state this year have attempted to recall school board members amid debates over COVID-19 protocols, sex education and critical race theory.

Just this summer, recall petitions circulated against board members in the Wahoo and Norris districts, but those efforts both fell apart when organizers failed to meet signature requirements.

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Contact the writer at or 402-473-7225. On Twitter @zach_hammack


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K-12 education reporter

Zach Hammack, a 2018 UNL graduate, has always called Lincoln home. He previously worked as a copy editor at the Journal Star and was a reporting intern in 2017. Now, he covers students, teachers and schools as the newspaper’s K-12 reporter.

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