School Board approves contract for Dr. Adkins
The contract for Dr. Gregory Adkins, the acting superintendent, was approved during the Lee County School Board meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Board Attorney Keith Martin said with Dr. Adkins becoming the acting superintendent on Sept. 16, the board needed to approve a contract of employment.
“Dr. Adkins has agreed to maintain his salary as assistant superintendent, his current salary while serving in the office of superintendent. The terms of the contract would allow the School Board to terminate without cause with five days of written notice. The contract also provides that Dr. Adkins would be reappointed with the position of assistant superintendent upon termination and recommendation of the superintendent. “
Board Member Jeanne Dozier said she has never had a superintendent come in and not ask for anything, which she said speaks volumes of that person.
“The fact that he could have asked for quite a few things, but he asked for nothing except the current salary that he has, I can’t tell you what that means and it should mean to everyone in the district,” she said. “The job that he is doing is absolutely tremendous. Everything that he has accomplished in such a short period of time and how he has just spent so much time addressing every issue that has come before him. I never thought I would say, ‘I wish you would have asked for something because I don’t feel as though we are going to compensate you for the work that you are going to do.'”
Board Member Mary Fischer said if the first week is an indicator of where they are going to go, Adkins has his finger on the pulse of the district.
Board Member Steve Teuber said when the board met last week it was to put an interim basis for emergency purpose, Dr. Adkins. He said then the district has a plan that will take shape in the next several weeks to put in names for an interim superintendent and that person would carry the district for the period until a search is put into place.
“At that point we are going to change to another superintendent,” Teuber said.
Right now, he said, he believes the district is in a less than ideal situation and not held in very high regard to any of their stakeholders.
“We have witnessed unparallelled instability, lack of leadership and a host of issues that has taken the emphasis off our primary mission, which is to educate children,” Teuber said. “Given the past three years of the district, I believe the main focus of this board is to provide leadership, stability and progress to our community. I believe the best way to accomplish this is through the support of our current superintendent.”
His solution provided a longer time frame for a nationwide search to be conducted.
“I propose the following, that today we hire Dr. Adkins for a time certain contract of 17 months,” he said, which would reserve Adkins as the interim superintendent until Feb. 1, 2017.
During that time frame the board will develop a robust national search for the superintendent, he said, and send things to an appropriate search firm at the beginning of 2017.
If Dr. Adkins meets the requirements of the School Board, Teuber said, they will offer him a contract without moving forward with the costs of a nationwide search. He said if Dr. Adkins has not met the objectives and goals of the school board, then the Lee County School Board will execute the nationwide search with an established time line and bring in a new superintendent in May 2017 at the end of the school year.
Teuber made the motion to change Dr. Adkin’s contract to end Jan. 31, 2017; provide compensation of $185,000; provide a semi-annual evaluation on how to grade Dr. Adkins performance; provide transportation allowance of $725 a month and revise the termination with clause to provide a 30-day notice.
Board Chairman Cathleen O’Daniel Morgan said they have gone through the same love fest with previous superintendents for short terms, which was not a statement about Dr. Adkins.
“The School Board gets emotional attachments and rushes to judgments and makes seat of the pants decisions and I consider this to be yet another example of lack of planning and thought, if we act on this today,” she said. “I simply cannot support it.”
Without doing a national search, Morgan said, as a district that has done all of its promotions internally, they have no idea whether or not the people they are promoting internally are competitive with their peers nationally.
Board Member Pam LaRiviere said she prefers to table the proposal for more thought, giving the community time to speak. With that said, she withdrew her motion to second the amendment.