Austin Schools’ Picha takes position at White Bear Lake

Published 6:47 am Thursday, December 17, 2009

Austin Public Schools’ director of human relations Chris Picha’s request to resign became official at the APS School Board meeting Monday evening.

Picha has been with APS since 2002 and her resignation will become effective on Dec. 25.

Picha has accepted a similar position with White Bear Lake Public Schools.

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“It was a difficult decision to make because the people at APS are wonderful to work with; however, for my own professional growth it was time for a change and take on more challenges,” Picha wrote in an e-mail.

“She has contributed to our district in such a major way,” board member Kathy Green said, noting Picha’s ability to recruit and retain quality staff.

Picha’s fellow administrator, finance and operations director Lori Volz, left APS in October for a similar position in Albert Lea. Volz was replaced by present finance director Mark Stotts.

Monday’s meeting was also the final regular monthly meeting for school board members David Simonson and Mary Kleis, whose terms expire at the end of the month.

Kleis has sat on the board since 2005 and served as clerk, treasurer and District 1 director of the Minnesota School Board Association.

Simonson has been on the board since 1991 and served as clerk, treasurer, vice chair and chair. He served under six superintendents.

Kleis and Simonson were given gifts from the district and thanked by Superintendent David Krenz for their service.