Abraham Lincoln High School band director resigns amid police investigation

Abraham Lincoln High School band director resigns amid police investigation
Mark Mendell

A longtime Council Bluffs teacher has resigned from his position in the school district and is under investigation by the Council Bluffs Police Department.

The Council Bluffs Community School District Board of Education accepted the resignation of Abraham Lincoln High School band director Mark Mendell on Tuesday.

Mendell, who taught in the district for 30 years, is being investigated by the Council Bluffs Police Department, Capt. Todd Weddum confirmed Tuesday. Mendell has not been arrested or charged with any crime. Police officials declined to discuss the nature of the investigation.

“The only thing we’re committing to stating is that a police investigation is under way,” Weddum said.

A preliminary report was filed with the department, but it was not available to the public Tuesday because the case involves a juvenile, Weddum added.

A voicemail for Mendell seeking comment for this story was not returned.

Mendell was placed on administrative leave on March 20, Council Bluffs Community School District Superintendent Vickie Murillo said.

“We have continued to communicate with parents and students about the ways in which we are providing support and guidance to students in our music programs as they prepare for performances through the rest of the school year,” Murillo said.

Murillo said Dan Black, current A.L. orchestra director, has stepped in to lead the school’s band program for the remainder of the year, with the additional support of other music professionals from the area.

“Mr. Black will continue to be involved in the development and growth of the orchestra program as well,” she said.

The school district is working with the police department on the investigation, she said.

Mendell came to the school district in 1989 and taught at Kirn Middle School before taking over at A.L. in 2010 after the retirement of his predecessor, Terry Hanzlik. He received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Nelson Family Foundation in 2017.

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