April 7, 2016

Parshall principal targeted for nonrenewal

By Jerry W. Kram

Lewis Reese came to Parshall to be the elementary school principal less than two years ago. The Parshall School Board will consider a motion to not offer him a contract for the next school year at its next regular meeting on April 20.

A divided board voted 3-2 to consider the motion at a special meeting held on Tuesday. Stacey Roberts, Jay Clauson and Michelle Billadeau voted to consider the motion. Billy Johnson and Clover Little Soldier voted against the motion. They expressed concerns about the process and not having a chance to take some time to consider the information that will be presented at the coming meeting.

Superintendent John Weidner told the board there were four grounds to consider the motion against Reese. They were: inability to provide a positive work environment, inability to provide leadership which is necessary to be an effective principal, inability to maintain effective discipline for effective learning to occur, and inability to build a purposeful community. Rachel Bruner Kaufman, the school district’s lawyer attended the meeting by phone and told the board that only the motion to consider releasing Reese should be discussed at that meeting. No discussion of the facts of the situation were presented or allowed.

"The reason for the nonrenewal originated with the employee’s evaluation," Bruner Kaufman explained. "All you are deciding at this time is whether you will contemplate Mr. Reese’s nonrenewal. No information is being presented to you tonight. If you decide to comtemplate his nonrewal tonight, the board will make the decision to nonrenew at a board meeting on April 20."

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