USD 305 Superintendent Bill Hall says he will stay the course and continue to lead Salina’s schools, despite a 4-3 vote to non-renew his contract in two years.
“I believe I owe it to this community to commit to the school system and move forward and finish the things that we have started, ” Hall said during the KSAL Morning News on Thursday.
“We’ve got so many good things happening, our community has been nothing but supportive.”
Hall explained how he sat outside an executive meeting Tuesday evening while the school board conducted an annual review of his performance. The nearly three hour meeting concluded with a 4-3 vote to non-renew him after his current contract expires in the spring of 2019.
The action left Hall wondering why the vote was taken.
“The most concerning thing to me about this whole thing is the fact that it didn’t have to happen. I have a 2-year contract and if they didn’t want me here as a board, after two years they could have just done nothing,” he said.
“Adjourn the meeting – walk away.”
Voting not to renew Hall’s contract were board Vice President Nedra Elbl and board members Carol Brandert, Brett Cooper and Mary Ann Trickle.
The three members who voted to retain Hall were board President Johnna Vosseller and board members Romona Newsom and Ann Zimmerman.
“I think it’s wrong that this distraction has been created at a time when we have so many good things that are happening for our school system. I think it’s wrong and it’s wrong for us to do that to our community, quite honestly,” Hall said.
School Board President Johnna Vosseller offered the following statement in regard to her vote:
This personal statement is in regards to the March 14, 2017 board meeting. These views are mine alone and do not represent the opinion of the board as a whole.
My personal vote last night was based on Mr. Hall’s past performance. It was his evaluation after all. I took into consideration things like passing the bond issue, Salina West, building construction, career and tech ed classes that are being implemented, district newsletters just to name a few of the projects Mr. Hall spearheaded. I took into consideration how patrons felt about the district by reviewing the patron insight survey and the amazing results it showed and then I based it on actual interactions I’ve had personally with other staff and Mr. Hall directly.
Our district has 7,000 kids and 1,500 staff and you can see how he makes everyone feel special. Odds are he knows a child’s name and knows what classes or building the staff member teaches or works in. That’s amazing compared to prior superintendents who never left the district office.
During our board work session a few weeks ago, I got the sense that some board members were angry with Mr. Hall for trying to do what he believed was the right thing by upholding the negotiated contract equally at the January board meeting. Unfortunately for him, he tried to enforce it on a friend of a board member. Instead of excusing themselves for a conflict of interest, that board member grandstanded during the January board meeting claiming that board policies are flexible so their friend didn’t have to follow the rules.
Now it appears the board has decided to “nonrenew” our superintendent, which is odd because he still has two years left on his contract. So what does that even mean? If he is doing a bad job why
didn’t we terminate immediately? However, that’s not what Carol’s motion was on Tuesday evening.
The board could have done nothing and the contract would have simply expired. But no. I believe public shaming and a pound of flesh was what some board members wanted.
Sadly the only ones who lose here is the community.
I would add that the board members forming the cabal against Mr. Hall are also going to make it difficult to find a replacement. He succeeds at pulling off a successful bond election with a 53% turnout and a 60/40 split, then we repay by firing him. Who would want that kind of life situation?
Hall is currently under contract through the 2018-2019 school year. He plans on staying through the duration of the contract.
Hall came to Salina in 2011 after leading the Ulysses School District for 11-years.