Dr. Mark Bezek on Wednesday, June 22nd announced his retirement/resignation from ISD 728 (Elk River, Rogers, Otsego and Zimmerman) effective July 31st. Dr. Bezek has served ISD 728 as the Superintendent of Schools for ten years–since July 1, 2006. He will continue his education career in Wisconsin, having accepted a position as Supt of Schools for the Somerset, Wisconsin district effective August 1, 2016.
“I have been blessed to work with a very talented group of educators over my ten years in ISD 728. As a team we were able to put the district on a strong financial foundation and also set the district up for the future needs of all learners.”
The district serves families in Albertville and St. Michael, as well as its four main communities.
“The academic success we’ve enjoyed in ISD 728 is because of the hard work of our Teaching and Learning Team and the dedication of our teaching and non-certified staff that believed in the District Mission and Strategic Plan.”
Bezek assumed the reins of ISD 728 at a fractious time in its history, succeeding Alan Jensen who resigned in October, 2005 after reaching a severance agreement with the School Board. Prior to his arrival, two school board members had also resigned before completing their terms of office.
During his tenure, Dr. Bezek oversaw improved student performance rates, the initiation of two District-wide Strategic Plans, all-day kindergarten, better educational and facility equity throughout the communities of ISD 728, the renewal for 10 years of three existing operating levies, and in 2014, the passage of a $98.03M bond levy and $5.9M operating levy including significant investments in technology for E-grade 12 learners.
The 2014 bond levy addressed several space concerns of the growing district, including the additions of auditoriums to Rogers and Zimmerman High Schools, an additional academic wing at Rogers High School, classroom additions at Zimmerman Middle/High School, gymnasium and weight training addition to Elk River High School, a new E-8 school in Otsego, and early education additions in Rogers and Zimmerman. Bezek was also part of the team that brought Hockey Day in Minnesota to the Elk River community in 2014.
With his resignation, Dr. Bezek concludes a thirty-four (34)-year career as a Minnesota educator, serving as an Industrial Technology instructor (9 years), principal (10 years) and superintendent (15 years) over that time.
Lately, Bezek has been part of meetings with Albertville Mayor Jillian Hendrickson and members of two Albertville neighborhoods that reside within ISD 728 boundaries. That switch would have to be made at the state level, however, above the school district’s authority.
The ISD 728 School Board is expected to act on Dr. Bezek’s retirement/resignation at its July 11th meeting, as well as discuss processes and timelines for filling the vacancy.