Inver Grove Heights School Board announces Allen Gerber’s early resignation

Allen Gerber
Allen Gerber

Colleagues say his leadership, innovation will be missed

After serving as a member of the Inver Grove Heights School Board for the past three and a half years, Allen Gerber has decided to step down before his term expires at the end of December 2015.

According to the superintendent of District 199, Dave Bernhardson, “[Gerber’s] calendar for the remainder of his terms makes it difficult for him to remain involved in the manner he would like to remain involved.”

Bernhardson added that family has always been very important to Gerber and cited family obligations as the main motivator behind Gerber’s decision to resign.

“He’s got a very dynamic family schedule, which I think we all need to appreciate. He felt he needed to be present for those things that are taking place in his family, moving forward — which is admirable. I have the upmost respect for Allen,” Bernhardson said.

Gerber and his wife Kathy, who was a longtime teacher in the Inver Grove Heights School District, have two children who graduated from Simley High School.

He ran to serve as a board member in 2011, at age 67. He was one of seven candidates running for four open seats on the board. Once elected, he served from January 2012 to May 2015, and participated in several District 199 board committees.

Based on his career history, Gerber brought a depth of knowledge to the school board. He began his career with the Peace Corps in the 1960s and retired as a regional manager with the Peace Corps. He also worked in overseas cooperative development with the Minnesota Association of Cooperatives and Southeast Service Cooperative.

When asked about his school board candidacy for an October 2011 story in the Review, Gerber said, “I have lots of experience with boards, and I don’t have an ax to grind. I can bring the strength of knowing how boards function.”

Over the course of his service, he delivered on his promise, as his knowledge of boards left a lasting impression on those he worked alongside.

“Allen had high standards and he wanted this board to operate in a very professional way,” board member Tom Begich said in a press release.

Bernhardson also highlighted Gerber’s familiarity with boards, along with his creativity, as some of his most valuable contributions.

“His professional experience was working or being involved with boards, so he really understood what the board’s role is and helped his colleagues understand that role ... to best serve the needs of kids,” Bernhardson said. “He also has a passion for innovation. It has really made an impact on the future thinking of the school district.”

After offering Gerber thanks for the time and commitment he invested in his role as a school board member, fellow board member Mark Westpfahl said in a press release, “He challenged our thinking at times, including his own, and I think our board and our district is in a better place right now because of Allen.”

Despite multiple attempts, Gerber could not be reached for comment before the Review went to press.  

District 199 is currently accepting applications for interested candidates to fill Gerber’s seat for the duration of his term, which ends Dec. 31, 2015.

His successor will take office on June 22, at the regularly scheduled school board meeting.

Erin Hinrichs can be reached at 651-748-7814 and ehinrichs@lillienews.com. Follow her at twitter.com/EHinrichsNews.


District 199 School Board seeking candidates

Following school board member Allen Gerber’s resignation, Inver Grove Heights Community Schools is seeking applicants to fill the duration of his term. The appointment will begin June 22 and will end Dec. 31, 2015.  

Interested candidates must submit a letter of interest, along with a resume, no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, May 29.
Submissions may be emailed to julie.coffey@isd199.org or mailed to:

District Office
Attn: Julie Coffey
2990 80th Street East
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

Applicant eligibility requirements are:
• Must be at least 21 years old
• Must be an eligible registered voter
• District resident for at least 30 days
• Not a convicted felon or sex offender
• Does not have a personal financial interest in the sale, lease or contract with District 199
• Does not hold another elected position

The school board will bring names of candidates forward for a vote at a special board meeting June 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the district office boardroom.

At that time, candidates may choose to address the board to share their interest in the vacancy. The final candidate is expected to be chosen and announced that evening and will be sworn in and take office at the school board’s regular meeting June 22.

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