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Turmoil in Williston school district ends with superintendent's resignation

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A contentious few weeks in the Williston Basin School District have ended with the resignation of Superintendent Jeffrey Thake.

Thake had been placed on administrative leave in late October, after an independent audit revealed unreconciled cash from a previous school year. Reconciliation is an accounting process that ensures accuracy of financial records.

The Williston Education Association, which represents teachers, a few days later announced a vote of no confidence in School Board President Chris Jundt, asking for his resignation. The association cited in part "decisions made in executive session."

Jundt said no action had been taken during a closed executive session during which Thake was discussed. Jundt refused to step down, saying in a statement that "executive sessions have been properly noticed, properly called, and properly held."

The school district on Friday released a joint statement from the school board and Thake announcing the superintendent's resignation, the Williston Herald reported.

The statement said the board and Thake "have come to an amicable resolution and will be parting ways."

“Both Dr. Thake and the School Board care tremendously and want nothing but the best for District 7 and its administration, teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members," the statement read. "Both parties respectfully ask that everyone place their focus on the students of District 7 and providing quality education and a strategic plan that will guarantee the success of District 7 in the years to come.”

Thake was hired in June 2018. He came from Amboy, Illinois, where he’d served as superintendent for about seven years.

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