MAUSD director of student support resigns

BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District’s director of student support services, Susan Bruhl, tendered her resignation last month, effective June 30. At that time she will assume a new role in the district: Early Intervention and Prevention Coordinator.

Bruhl has served in her current role for 16 years.

“My decision is bittersweet because I am invested in the work and recognize the significance of achieving our goals to ensure that all MAUSD students belong, feel valued, and realize their potential,” Bruhl wrote in her Feb. 11 letter to Superintendent Patrick Reen. “That being said, it is incumbent on every individual within the organization to lead us towards the Ends, so I am looking forward to my new role in the district in service to students and their families.”

On Feb. 15, four days after Bruhl dated her resignation letter, the MAUSD posted a job opening for Director of Student Support Services to the educational employment website

MAUSD Superintendent Patrick Reen

Early Intervention and Prevention Coordinator is a position that’s being revived in the district, Reen told the Independent. It will report to the Director of Student Support Services.

“It will primarily support students and families who are eligible for 504 services and who are experiencing transitional housing or homelessness,” Reen said. “We tried to distribute these responsibilities out to others over the past few years and it did not work well, so we are returning to our previous approach to meet these needs.”

The position will be funded the same way it had been in the past, through a combination of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act) grants and Medicaid grant funds, Reen said.

Structurally, MAUSD Student Support Services will remain the same, and the district does not have any plans at this time to add more positions, Reen said.

Bruhl, who began serving in her current capacity in 2006, said changing jobs was a difficult decision she made for personal reasons.

“Anyone who has served in a leadership capacity understands the personal sacrifices, and in my 16 years there have been many,” Bruhl told the Independent. “I am fortunate to serve alongside teammates who are visionary and passionate about the students in our community. I remain deeply committed to the work in MAUSD and grateful to offer students and their families essential supports they may need to access educational programming.”

Bruhl’s resignation and assumption of a new position come after several months of renewed focus on student supports and staffing levels in the district, especially at Bristol Elementary School and Mount Abraham Union High School, which experienced incidents of violence, bullying and other conflicts this past fall.

District officials have responded to the incidents — which they believe have been exacerbated in part by the ongoing pandemic — by adding positions and increasing budgets for student supports.

Reach Christopher Ross at [email protected].

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