Teton superintendent resigns following controversial raises

Updated Oct. 4 at 8 a.m. to reflect that Monte Woolstenhulme did not receive a round of 5% raises that went out to district administrators. 

Longtime Teton Superintendent Monte Woolstenhulme will step down at the end of this school year.

Monte Woolstenhulme

The district on Monday announced Woolstenhulme’s plan to resign effective July 1. Woolstenhulme shared the announcement with EdNews via email Monday night.

Board chair Shannon Brooks Hamby praised Woolstenhulme’s “steady leadership and direction” in the announcement, but Monday’s news also accompanies recent controversy in the East Idaho district of some 1,900 students.

In August, Teton administrators — not including Woolstenhulme — received 5% pay raises without approval from the board, Jackson Hole News & Guide’s Jeannette Boner reported in August. School board member Kathleen Haar publicly criticized the raises, calling them “excessive.” The board later censured Haar for her comments, Boner reported last month.

Woolstenhulme, whose 2021-22 salary was $124,853, defended the salary bumps after-the-fact, telling Haar during an August board meeting that “this was a unique summer and this is where we are.”

Woolstenhulme did not respond Monday to a request for comments about his resignation announcement.

The board will begin the process of finding Woolstenhulme’s replacement in the coming months, Monday’s announcement reads.

Woolstenhulme started as Teton’s superintendent in 2008. He oversaw a community-approved bond of $37 million in 2017 to build new elementary schools in Victor and Driggs, along with other facilities updates. A contentious process of changing the district’s American Indian-themed mascot also marked Woolstenhulme’s time as superintendent in 2020.

“I am grateful for the privilege of serving the school district and what I have learned personally and professionally from the amazing people that choose to work in public education, and in the many leadership roles in our community,” Woolstenhulme said in Monday’s announcement.

The Teton School District is located in Driggs, about 75 miles northeast of Idaho Falls.

Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

EdNews assistant editor and reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He lives and works in East Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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