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South Washington County School Board member Jim Gelbmann receives a plaque and photo from Superintendent Keith Jacobus and School Board Chairman Ron Kath at Gelbmann's final meeting June 19 before stepping down from the board. In the background are board members Katy McElwee-Stevens (left) and Katie Schwartz. (Bulletin photo by Scott Wente)

Gelbmann wraps up service on South Washington County School Board

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Gelbmann wraps up service on South Washington County School Board
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

District 833 School Board member Jim Gelbmann wrapped up 18 1/2 years on the board with some laughs at a June 19 meeting.

Gelbmann resigned with about 18 months left on his term, citing professional and personal issues. Michelle Witte will fill out the rest of his term.


In closing remarks, Gelbmann said he initially sought a board seat out of concern about the large size of his eldest son’s first-grade classroom. He said District 833 improved each year during his tenure, and he has confidence in the school system. “I go out on a high note,” he said. “I think the district is in a very good position, poised for the future.”

Gelbmann also made reference to the at-times tense relationship he had with other board members, saying he was not always “the most agreeable person to get along with,” but they had the same goal in mind of doing well by the district’s students.

“My intentions were always in the right place,” he said to residents who may have disagreed with some of his positions.

Scott Wente
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
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