School employees keep their jobs after hearings


MASON CITY, Iowa – The Mason City School Board has decided not to fire several employees, whose positions were in jeopardy as the district faces serious budget cuts.

Six employees, including several teachers, submitted their resignations to the board:

Deneen Nelson, Language Arts Teacher, Mason City High School

Sheena Canady, Social Studies Teacher, Mason City High School

Samantha Gribben, Paraprofessional, Roosevelt Elementary

Brett Stevenson, Paraprofessional, Hoover Elementary

Gary Viers, Paraprofessional, Hoover Elementary

Claretta Riha, Food Service, John Adams Middle School


Two others, declined to have hearings, and the board voted to terminate their positions.

Jessica Magnusen, Science Teacher, Mason City High School

Jarod Haselhuhn, 1st Grade, Harding Elementary


Four teachers did have hearings, and three of them will maintain their jobs:

Kelli Ciavarelli, Kindergarten, Harding Elementary

Sara Powell, Special Education, Hoover Elementary

David Christopherson, Business, Mason City High School


While another is going to part-time status:

Melissa Weiner, Spanish, Mason City High School

An administrative worker (Jenna Sheriff – Administrative Assistant/Student Records/Registrar – Mason City High School) and energy manager (Rich Patras), will also keep their jobs. The board decided to table the decision on one administrative position (Lisa Christianson) until a later date.

These meetings were closed to the public, but those leaving the sessions told our reporter, it was, quote, “intense” in there.

We spoke with Superintendent Anita Micich about what went into these decisions.

“Really excellent information came to the board tonight, heartfelt, really thinking about the quality of the district and the quality of our community. Mason City is on a great path to being a positive place and it’s so important that we keep moving in that direction,” says Micich.

That meeting went late into Thursday evening.

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