MERNA—The Anselmo-Merna (A-M) Public School Board of Education will host an emergency meeting on Tuesday, June 7 at 7 p.m. in the school library to discuss plans for the 2022-2023 school year.
Superintendent Dr. Logan Lightfoot told KCNI/KBBN the meeting comes after the tragic passing of Rod Gaston who was scheduled to take over as the Anselmo-Merna superintendent in July.
In a letter on the A-M website and that was sent to parents, Dr. Lightfoot said Rod Gaston passed away on Sunday, June 5, 2022 due to natural causes.
“Please keep the Wauneta-Palisade community, and in particular Pam and the Gaston family, in your prayers. The loss of Rod will be felt by many,” Dr. Lightfoot stated in the letter. “As we process this loss, our Board of Education and administrative team will develop plans to prepare for the 2022-2023 school year. We will also update our community as we finalize these plans.”
Dr. Lightfoot told KCNI/KBBN the Tuesday night meeting is an open, public meeting but will primarily be an informational meeting for the board. No action items are on the agenda and the board will likely go into closed session to discuss personnel and then reconvene in open session to discuss the timeline of the superintendent selection and employment process. He said the board aims to find a solution for the next school year and then look for a long-term solution.
“We’ve got a really good thing going in our school district and we want to make sure that we have a process to select someone to keep that really good momentum going,” Dr. Lightfoot said.
In December 2021, Dr. Lightfoot announced his resignation from Anselmo-Merna with plans to move to Maryville, Missouri after accepting a superintendent position and to be closer to family.
According to the Carpenter Breland Funeral Home website, Rodney “Rod” J Gaston was 65 years old. According to the Wauneta-Palisade Schools website, Rod Gaston had served as the Science and Agricultural Teacher, Assistant Principal, and Activities Director at the southwest Nebraska school district. He was married to his wife Pam and they have four sons.