Oct 22, 2010 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
The Jordan-Elbridge school board appointed Bill Speck interim district superintendent at Wednesday’s meeting. Jeanne Pieklik was the only board member to vote in opposition.
Speck’s appointment puts him in charge of finding a true interim superintendent to serve until June 30. Speck, District Superintendent of Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, said he would serve as interim until a replacement was found.
Speck and the board interviewed four “viable candidates” the night before; all were retired superintendents applying strictly for an interim position.
“It’s not only the board and myself interviewing the candidate, but to some degree, it’s the candidate interviewing the Jordan-Elbridge School District,” he said. “I have been as honest as I can be in explaining the situation.”
Speck said he was not here to smooth over the situation.
“We’re in trouble in Jordan-Elbridge. I want you to clearly understand the “we” in that,” he said. “I’m at this table tonight with a strong commitment from BOCES to see this thing through with your board and with this community to make sure we come out the other end of this with a solid, good leader.”
Speck said he and the board could have a decision by Tuesday. The four candidates are:
Larry Zacher – former superintendent of Mayville and Whitesboro schools.
Fred Thomsen – Former superintendent of Fabius-Pompey and East Syracuse-Minoa schools.
Gordon Klumpp – 30 years in the Groton school district as principal and superintendent.
Joseph Coleman – former Lafayette High School principal and superintendent.
Zacher, Thomsen and Klump all have experience as interim superintendents.
District resident Kris Humphries asked if Sue Gorton, assistant superintendent of instruction, was out of the running for interim superintendent as well as the permanent position. Gorton’s summertime appointment to interim superintendent was ruled void in state supreme court in September.
Speck said Gorton was not in the applicant pool for the interim role, but could not guarantee she wouldn’t be considered for the superintendent position.
“That’s down the road,” he said.
The interim superintendent will advise the board in the process of finding a new superintendent for the district, Speck said.
Suspended Principle David Zehner indicated dissatisfaction with the board’s progress.
“What they’re doing is correct; they should have done it seven months ago,” he said. “This is Dominick’s last meeting and they’re talking about getting training to start the process, a process that takes eight months.”
He added: “It’s completely unacceptable.”
Zehner said the lawsuit being filed against Dominick and the school board, demanding that her severance agreement be set aside, if won, could simplify everything.
“If the judge agrees, then she’s still superintendent,” he said.
Charges brought against Zehner
Zehner said the school board recently brought charges against him to justify his suspension in early September. He declined to comment on their specifics just yet, but expects to have a strong case against the district in court.
“There’s not much there,” he said.
Fred Weisskopf, a village of Elbridge trustee, explained during the public comments section of the meeting why his resignation from part-time account clerk was on that night’s agenda. He said that when he came to the district six years ago, bills were not being paid on time – which he had evidenced first hand as the owner of a hardware store in Elbridge.
“After Bill’s suspension and Anthony’s termination, false accusations were being placed upon me without valid justification, which made for an uncomfortable environment to work in,” he said.
“But much more important than that, the office practices of not getting bills paid on time are reverting back to six years ago.”
He continued: “I love my job, but I’m resigning because of these practices. I believe in Bill Hamilton and Anthony Scro.”