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Retired teacher, board member investigated for sex with student

William Rehnstrand, a longtime Superior educator and school board vice president, is under police investigation for allegedly having sexual contact with a Superior High School student.

Rehnstrand

William Rehnstrand, a longtime Superior educator and school board vice president, is under police investigation for allegedly having sexual contact with a Superior High School student.

Superior police officers executed a search warrant at Rehnstrand's home last month while investigating the incident, which allegedly occurred in August in Eden Prairie, Minn., according to information filed in the Douglas County Clerk of Court's Office. Two computers were seized, including the laptop issued to Rehnstrand by the Superior Board of Education.

According to the search warrant, Rehnstrand, 65, admitted to Detective Joseph Krieg of the Superior Police Department that he had sexual contact with the 17-year-old male student during a trip the two made together for a school project.

Rehnstrand told officers the two stayed at a friend's house in Eden Prairie, slept in the same bed and that "one thing led to another."

The teen told Krieg the contact was not consensual.

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The case is under investigation by the Eden Prairie Police Department. Superior Police Capt. Chad La Lor confirmed that his department was working jointly with Eden Prairie police to investigate a Superior man with ties to the school district for sexual contact with a 17-year-old student.

As of Monday, no charges had been filed against Rehnstrand in Hennepin County, Minn.

Attempts to reach Rehnstrand on Monday were unsuccessful. An educator for 31 years -- 28 of them at Superior High School -- Rehnstrand was elected to the school board in 2000, two years after he retired.

The Superior man's work as a history teacher and mentor has been recognized time and again. He received the Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the year award by the Wisconsin Council for the Gifted and Talented in 1983, was named Law Related Education Teacher of the Year by the State Bar of Wisconsin in 1998 and received the 2002 Education Hall of Fame Award from the Superior School District. In addition, he was one of five Northland educators honored with a Teacher Recognition Award at the Terrific Teachers banquet in May 1993 and received the state Heffernan Award in Madison in 2004 for his contribution to law-related education.

Rehnstrand was one of the co-founders of Law Day mock trials in 1977. The annual Superior High School activity mushroomed into the statewide Mock Trial program for high school students in 1984.

Rehnstrand also was instrumental in creating the Superior Scholarship Foundation. He used the $4,000 gift he received at the Terrific Teachers banquet to establish the Jefferson Fund to support educational activities such as Mock Trial, the Harvard Model United Nations Program and to send local students on trips abroad. That gift served as the catalyst that activated the Superior Scholarship Foundation.

Rehnstrand abruptly resigned from the school board last month.

According to Superintendent Jay Mitchell, Rehnstrand walked into the district office Sept. 22, handed over a letter of resignation and walked out.

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"He didn't say a word," Mitchell said.

"I think everyone was surprised," said school board member Mary Klun.

Mitchell declined to comment further, stating he was unaware of the details involved in the case.

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