CHESTERTON | Superintendent Dirk Baer announced his retirement from the Duneland School Corp. during Tuesday night’s board meeting after serving with the schools for 26 years.
He said he will serve through the end of the school year and he recounted memories from his career. Baer said he loved being a school principal before moving in the post of superintendent during the time of the Bethlehem bankruptcy.
“We made it through that without cutting anything major and nobody lost their job," he said. "Then we run into a situation where state funding will no longer support our high-functioning program, and we went out to ask the community to raise their taxes and they did. It’s the people that come into play. We made it because of people and we never lost sight of the main goal.”
Baer said he would work with the board to find a suitable replacement and he thanked his administrative team, teaching staff, parents and community.
“You’ve done a great job and you’ll be missed," board member Michael Trout said. "We appreciate what you’ve done and you’ve led us through some tough times. You’ve been a friend, and a great superintendent for the school.”
Board member Ralph Ayres spoke of Baer's legacy.
“You were my boss as principal of the high school, and I worked with you when I was a state legislator, pleading in the governor’s office for a loan, and working with you now as a board member," Ayres said. "You’ve truly been a professional—someone you can trust, who gives you his word, and we’ll be forever grateful in the Duneland area for everything you’ve done."
Board member John Marshall spoke about Baer’s “heart and commitment to the quality of life here in Duneland. He has given of himself, his time, his money, and we’re losing a good man and a good friend.”
Trout says discussions on plans for a replacement will begin soon.
In other business, board members elected Trout president, Ayres vice president and Ron Stone secretary.