A return to the familiar; Raymond takes over HR for Austin Public Schools

Published 11:19 am Friday, July 1, 2016

A familiar face is returning to the Austin Public Schools’ district office.

Mark Raymond was hired as the new human resources director. He replaces Brad Bergstrom, who is becoming the Thief River Falls School District superintendent.

“I’m extremely excited to come back,” Raymond said. “It’s a great opportunity for me.”

Email newsletter signup

Raymond was most recently the principal of Triton Middle School in Dodge Center.

But he has much experience in Austin. Raymond previously worked for the district as a chemistry and physics teacher, and worked in administration and with the summer school programs.

He was also the teachers’ union president, where his responsibilities included negotiating contracts.

“I have a lot of background in Austin and understanding the history,” Raymond said.

His new duties as the human resources director will include working on collaboration between six bargaining units, so the district can “continue to provide the best possible education and environment for students.”

Raymond will also negotiate contracts and obligations, coordinate with professional staff development, take care of hiring procedures and the on-boarding process.

“There’s great colleagues to work with. They have a tremendous group in the central office in Austin,” Raymond said. “There’s a ton to learn from them. I’m excited to work with building principals.”

He is also completing his superintendent license this summer.

“It’s an opportunity to work with district level leadership,” he said. “I really enjoyed working in the building and will enjoy working at a district level.”

During his time at Austin, he also coached gymnastics for a number of years and he said given the opportunity, he would be more than happy to volunteer his time to help the coaches.

“I have strong relations with other coaches,” Raymond said. “If there’s a time to come in and volunteer coach, I would be open to that.”

Raymond and his family have remained in Austin while he was at Triton Middle School.

Principals getting raises

Austin principals will get a 7.67 percent raise over the next two years.

The Austin Public Schools Board approved a two-year contract package earlier this week.

The package includes a 4.25 percent increase for the 2016-17 school year and a 3.42 percent increase for 2017-18.