The superintendent of the Collins-Maxwell school district has resigned amid allegations related to "off-duty matters."
Jason Ellingson’s resignation was announced Thursday in a news release posted on the district’s website and follows a tumultuous week for the small district of about 440 students in southeast Story County.
On Wednesday, the district’s elementary school in Collins and combined middle and high school in Maxwell were locked down for several hours after an angry parent confronted district employees in a threatening manner. Last weekend, a high school student was killed in a traffic accident, with the student’s funeral being held Wednesday night.
The district received the report of allegations against Ellingson earlier this week, prompting the decision to place him on administrative leave, "as a standard precaution while the district looked into the report," district officials said in the news release.
"There is no evidence that any persons have been harmed, and there is no evidence that district programs or operations have been compromised," officials said in the release.
High School Principal Jordan Nelson said district officials have been legally advised they can’t discuss anything specific about the allegations.
Ellingson’s resignation is not related to the lockdown that happened at the district’s schools this week, Nelson said.
He also said he is not aware of any involvement in the situation by law enforcement.
Sgt. Nick Lennie of the Story County Sheriff’s Office said the office has not been contacted by anyone in connection with the situation.
School Board President Bryce Caple said the school board cannot comment on the allegations beyond what was released in the statement posted Thursday.
Ellingson, whose resignation was accepted by the school board on Thursday, began working for the Collins-Maxwell District as middle school principal in 2006. He was appointed superintendent in 2009.
Nelson said the school board is at the beginning stages of determining what it needs to do to fill the superintendent’s position. That will include talks with other districts and conversations with the Area Education Agency about possible assistance that can be provided, Nelson said.
In the meantime, Nelson said he will be picking up some of the responsibilities until the position is filled.
Caple confirmed Friday that Nelson will be in charge for the time being.
He said the district has reached out to Heartland Area Education Agency "about what our options are" for hiring an interim superintendent for the rest of the school year.
Caple said he and probably board vice president Brad Plunkett would meet with Heartland AEA next week to review options for filling the position.
A school board meeting that was postponed Monday has not been rescheduled, but when it is, it will be posted on the district’s website and Facebook page. The board will discuss moving forward at the meeting, Caple said.
Both Nelson and Caple talked about the tumultuous week and how the district is coping and the support it has been receiving.
"The biggest thing is that our staff has really stepped up in this difficult time, and they feel like a family," Caple said. "That’s what keeps us together during a difficult week."
Nelson said the outpouring of support from residents of the district, neighboring school districts and others has helped the district get through the tough time.
"A lot has happened and the one thing I keep telling people who call or contact us is we’re getting through it, we’ll get through it and as a district we’ll be stronger," Nelson said. "It’s probably the most difficult week you could have."
Marlys Barker of the Nevada Journal contributed to this report.