The drama in Dunlap continued Saturday morning, as the Dunlap School Board furthered its search for a new superintendent.
Dr. Lisa Parker was suddenly dismissed leaving many unanswered questions.
The meeting only had one item on the agenda: authorizing a search for a new superintendent.
What it ended up being, however, was an almost three hour war of words between parents, students and the school board.
Some still wanted to know the “why.”
Others said they did not see how this decision was justified.
Parents, and others, were not happy with how the school board handled the search.
There were plenty of inflammatory statements from angry parents.
Some called the board “dysfunctional” and another said they should be “ashamed.”
Still another pointed her finger directly at the board.
Some stated how the integrity of the board was being questioned by stakeholders and even among the board members themselves.
One concerned dad said, “Because believe me, we are looking at you. We watch your body language. We watch the petty arguments. We are embarrassed by the interactions of this board. We hired you to represent the community.”
Some board members, like Dawn Bozemann, agreed with these comments, saying there has been a lot of uncertainty and chaos among themselves.
“Yeah, we had dozens of parents that have spoke over the last few meetings and I think they are all very emotional as are we about this decision. What we’ve seen currently is that we do have a divided board and I’m reaching out to board members and asking them to look deeper. To work together and try and see if we can come to an agreement that are more than just a four to three vote for the benefit of our entire school district,” said Dawn Bozemann.
Over 900 people signed a petition in 36 hours saying the board failed.
Teachers who were in attendance on Saturday said they did not want a challenging relationship with the board but would continue holding them accountable.
And, regardless, teachers said they would continue watching out for the best interest of their students.
After the public shared their comments, the board talked about the pros and cons of hiring internally versus externally.
The board will have a discussion about the internal candidates.
It is costly to find a new superintendent and a full search for both an interim and a superintendent could cost over $15,000. There are additional fees on top of this cost.
A timeline could look something like this:
December 4th through December 18th they would gather information and announce the vacant position. During this time they would also conduct an online survey asking for community input.
Around January 25th they would close the date for opening.
This is, of course, subject to change.
Some board members interrupted this discussion to admit that they had not been acting like role models and even suggested extending Parker’s contract until the end of the academic year.
The crowd applauded the board members who made these comments.
Other board members did not support this idea.