Swayne resigns, patron questions Solomon Board
By ERICKA WERLING
SOLOMON — A Solomon School District patron questioned if a decision by the board to combine a principal’s position and the superintendent’s position was a prudent one.
“What if the community at large is against this?” Denise Miller asked during the meeting Monday.
Superintendent Jim Runge will retire at the end of this school year.
Patrons and staff packed the Solomon High School library.
The board in other action Monday accepted the resignation of High School Principal Shelly Swayne.
Miller asked to be heard under the Communications by Community Members agenda item. Board President Mark Wallace said that in order to make comments, Miller would have had to ask between meetings to be placed on the agenda.
However, Miller continued to make comments.
“We have some legitimate concerns about what’s going on with the board and the community,” she said. “It’s not that well known.”
“You made a really big decision without consulting the community,” she said. “There are more people against this than are here.”
Wallace then told Miller that members on both side of the issue could pick a spokesperson and address the board Monday evening, but that also brought disapproval from the audience.
The board then decided to have a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, to hear patron discussion about the issue.
Miller said she realized the decision to combine the two positions was probably made because of potential financial issues.
“Let’s wait for that to happen,” she said.
Miller also said that she had emailed each of the board members using the email addresses provided on the district web page, but none of the board members had replied.
After a few minutes board member Gary Mitchell said he had received the email, but chose not to reply because Miller’s email contained items about personnel matters.
Another patron told Mitchell that he could have at least replied, telling Miller that he had received the email.
Von Lauer and Howard Shuler, representatives from the search firm McPherson and Jacobson, gave the board a potential itinerary to select and interview candidates prior to the regular board meeting.
According to their schedule, deadline for applications would be Feb. 12. McPherson and Jacobson would present candidates to the board on Feb. 25.
The representative suggested that the board interview candidates one a night. Lauer suggested that the board interview five candidates. The interviews would potentially be Feb. 27, Feb. 28, and March 4, 5, and 6.
Lauer said that the board is in good shape for interviewing candidates. However, he said the board should move quickly following the last interview, as other districts are hiring the same candidates.
“The longer you wait between the last interview and making a decision, you may loose some good candidates,” he said.
He recommended the board use a school community group to help with the interview process. The community group would be comprised of high school student leaders, professional staff, classified staff and 12 to 15 members of the community.
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