While 2009 was a year of upheaval for Riverside-Brookfield High School, in 2010 things began to calm down a bit in the school district – at least from an administrative point of view. But a dark cloud in the form of a financial meltdown looms on the horizon, making 2010 more the eye of a hurricane rather than the storm’s aftermath.

Some contentious matters were settled in 2010. The school board named Pamela Bylsma as RB’s principal and ousted longtime athletic director and football coach Otto Zeman, who had become synonymous with a bygone era in the school’s history – which residents alternately longed to retain and discard.

But the financial questions facing the district as the year closed trumped any long examination of those issues. The district still needs to hire a new superintendent, who will face one of two things – a school district flush with revenue from a spring referendum or one facing teacher layoffs and program cuts.

The outgoing school board president says he’s “confident” voters will step up to support the property tax referendum in April. Conventional wisdom says otherwise. Come May, when four new members are elected to the board of education, they’ll have to face the back end of a storm that broke in 2008.