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Asmus hearing comes to an end at midnight

The Snake River School District school board continued a hearing Monday night regarding the future employment of a longtime biology teacher.

On Friday night, the public due process hearing totaled about eight hours, ending at 11:15 P.M. Monday night testimony lasted six hours, with the hearing coming to a close at 11:58 P.M.

The school district will now determine if Elaine Asmus’ contract will be renewed after 28 years of employment. After a heated exchange between Asmus and another science teacher, Laura Gabrylczyk, the district’s attorney investigated the matter further and found harassment or bullying may have involved in Asmus’ past behavior. Gabrylczyk is the wife of the district’s superintendent Mark Gabrylczyk.

With hundreds of faculty, patrons and students in attendance the district heard the testimony from Principals, teachers, Superintendent Mark Gabrylzyk, and Asmus. Patron Jeff Watt thought the whole ordeal was unfortunate.

“I feel bad that it’s in the public like this,” said Watt. “It doesn’t shed the best light on the school district, and I would hope that good resolve could take place. I don’t see any winners coming out of this.”

Asmus was the last to testify Monday night, with the exception of a brief testimony of a rebuttal witness. Asmus’ hour-long testimony was met with a standing ovation from an overwhelming majority of the crowd.

The transcript of the hearing will be made available in two weeks. Both attorneys then have three days to submit a concluding argument. The school board will have to make a written decision on Asmus’ future employment within 15 days after the final arguments are submitted.

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