Dr. Sarah Updegraff Murray chosen as new Superintendent for Eastern Allamakee Community Schools

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

At the regular monthly meeting of the Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) Board of Directors Monday, December 19,  Dr. Sarah Updegraff Murray was selected to replace current EACSD Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier, who will be retiring at the end of this current school year. The board approved a Standard Superintendent Contract for a three-year term in the amount of $140,000 annually, effective July 1, 2023.

Dr. Murray is the current Kee High School/Middle School Principal and will also retain that position in addition to assuming Superintendent duties for the district. Dr. Crozier is a shared Superintendent with the MFL/MarMac Community School District, but Dr. Murray will not be assuming that shared role, instead remaining solely within the Eastern Allamakee Community School District as both Superintendent and in her current principal positions.

“I am thrilled to be able to continue to serve EACS by adding the superintendent role to my duties,” Dr. Murray stated. “As part of my entrance plan, I hope to grow our goal around being a trauma informed school that remains high achieving academically. Next fall, we will be working district wide on studying the aspects of a High Reliability School and working through that process.”

Andrew Boddicker, Lansing RAGBRAI Secretary, presented checks to the Eastern Allamakee Community School District for  local beef purchases and processing in the amount of $3,000, for Family Consumer Science Department equipment updates in the amount of $4,200, for New Albin Elementary School music resources in the amount of $950, and for the New Albin Elementary Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support Program in the amount of $1,000. Boddicker stated that Lansing RAGBRAI received $330,000 in grant requests  and gave out $115,000, which was the amount profited from RAGBRAI 2022 in Lansing. He gave an overview of the positive impact of hosting Lansing RAGBRAI and how Eastern Allamakee Schools played a large role in making that event a success.

In addition, Hannah Steiber, Family Consumer Science teacher in the EACSD,  expressed the importance of receiving a grant from Lansing RAGBRAI. In order to be compliant with the State of Iowa and continue food production in the classroom, a new dish washing machine was needed. The funds from Lansing RAGBRAI covered the cost of the machine. The Family Consumer Science program and Kee Ingredients will now continue production of cookies, teas, pizzas and frozen meals.

The board approved an overnight music trip to Chanhassen Dinner Theater and Winona State University February 23 and February 24 of the upcoming new year. Approval was also given to a resolution authorizing the retention of boundaries for the director districts for the school district.

Principal Murray reported she is in the process of setting up an Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Team for At-Risk Groups. Kee High School is looking for students age 16 and older who may be interested in a CNA class. Dr. Murray also reported that the Kee Connect program is on track and growing.

New Albin Elementary School Principal Donna Thomas stated she is actively looking for a long-term substitute teacher at New Albin Elementary. Superintendent Crozier reported that he will continue to work with Dr. Murray in prepping her to replace him as Superintendent. He also noted that snow make-up days for the school year will be determined at a later date.