District: former Crandon principal demeaned women, poorly handled situation with weapons; Space calls claims 'inaccurate,' threatens lawsuitSubmitted: 03/06/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

District: former Crandon principal demeaned women, poorly handled situation with weapons; Space calls claims 'inaccurate,' threatens lawsuit
CRANDON - The School District of Crandon claims a former principal mishandled a situation with weapons on campus, used demeaning names for female staff members, and said he couldn't improve learning because his staff was mostly women.

But that former principal, Andy Space, calls many of those accusations "inaccurate" and "not true." Space is now considering a lawsuit against the district and its administrator, Dr. Doug Kryder.

"I will not allow the District to disparage my reputation with false allegations," Space said in a statement.

Space worked at Crandon schools for nearly 30 years, most recently as middle and high school principal, but he abruptly left in late January with little public explanation. That left many students, parents, and staff confused and frustrated.

Now, documents from the district and Space are adding context to what happened.

On Saturday, Kryder gave Newswatch 12 a document dated January 20 as part of the station's open records request. The document, written by Kryder, includes four pages of evidence. The pages lay out why the district planned to dismiss Space.

Among several allegations, Kryder's letter claims Space "made statements around not being able to improve learning because there are 80% females for staff" and referred to a female staff member as "Jugs."

It also accuses Space mishandled a potentially dangerous situation.

At the Friday, Oct. 13 homecoming football game, four boys threatened a sixth grader with knives. The letter claims Space didn't properly search the boys before they left, let them come to school the following Monday, and didn't make contact with the sixth grader until Tuesday. It says Space didn't write up the incident until more than a month later.

The letter also says Space "created a mess for the district to clean up" by telling a student she was a scholarship winner, when, in fact, another student deserved the scholarship based on academic records.

"This is fundamentally wrong on legal, ethical, and logical thoughts," Kryder told Space in the letter. He also pointed out Space had a close family relationship with the runner-up student.

In a special meeting on Jan. 15, the school board voted 4-1 to give Space a preliminary notice of non-renewal, a signal it didn't want Space back next school year. Jeff Ackley Jr. was the only dissenting vote.

Space left the school 11 days later. He signed a resignation agreement on Feb. 2.

But in a statement he gave Newswatch 12 on Monday, Space refuted many of the claims against him and threatened legal action.

"Many of the allegations in this letter are inaccurate or are not true," he wrote. "My only recourse may be a lawsuit against the District and Mr. Kryder, which I am strongly considering."

Space said he didn't receive the letter detailing the claims against him until Feb. 26--more than three weeks after he signed the resignation agreement.

"Had I been furnished a copy of the letter prior to my decision to voluntarily resign, I would have never entered into the separation agreement," Space said in the statement. "[I] would have requested a public hearing to contest the false allegations and defend my reputation."

Kryder's letter with the allegations against Space also changed over time. Newswatch 12 viewed the letter given to Space by the district. It was different in some dates, details, and descriptions than the letter Kryder provided to Newswatch 12 in its open records request.

On Monday, Kryder said Newswatch 12 had the "final" draft of the letter, while Space had an earlier version.

Space's resignation agreement calls for him to be paid through June 30 and get paid an additional $45,000 for his 120 accumulated sick days.

Both Space and Kryder turned down requests for formal interviews for this story.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


ARBOR VITAE - You won't want to wear your best clothes to one race in May.

Minocqua's Color Run Fundraiser is a 3K and 5K race for Arbor Vitae-Woodruff and MJ1 schools.

The race is one of the schools' biggest fundraisers for field trips, additional school supplies and equipment.

The Color Run raised almost $20,000 last year.

"It comes from all of the kids and their fundraising in the community, with the help of grandparents and parents and friends," says AVW Principal Rich Fortier.

The race will be at the Minocqua Park Complex on May 5.

To find out how to register, click below.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - A crowd gathered in Antigo to talk about drug abuse Monday night, about how it affects all aspects of the community and ways it could possibly be fixed.

One thing that everyone could agree on, is that it's an issue that needs to be resolved.

+ Read More

VILAS AND ONEIDA COUNTIES - Oneida and Vilas Counties will close their snowmobile trails this week. 

Lincoln County will also close its remaining trails. Zones 2 and 3 are already closed. Zone 1 will close at midnight on Monday, March 19.

+ Read More

NEW LONDON - New London police have sent pieces of candy from a St. Patrick's Day parade to the State Crime Laboratory to see if it's tainted.

Police warned people not to eat candy they got at Saturday's parade over concerns it may be contaminated. They received about 10 complaints about children and others developing temporary numbness or rash since Saturday.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A two vehicle crash caused Highway 8 to close down for almost an hour Monday.

The crashed happened around 1:30 p.m. west of Rhinelander.

A car was trying to turn into Roberts Repair when a truck hit it from behind.

There was one person in each car. At least one driver was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAKE TOMAHAWK - Dave Nance's job as a Camp American Legion volunteer means doing a little bit of everything. He's spent the last several years giving back to the place that gave him his life back.

"This is a special place. There's no place like it and it's life changing," said Nance who's from the Tomah-area. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Police Department wants your help to purchase its next K-9 dog.

Their previous K-9, Drago, retired a few months ago and the department is now looking for a new one.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here