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School board again decides against superintendent's return

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- The ongoing question about Stevens Point’s school superintendent was answered Monday night, again.

Dr. Attila Weninger had given the district his letter of resignation just before the school board voted not to renew his contract next year. Some board members and twenty six community leaders and business representatives made it clear last month they support the work of Dr. Weninger and want the board to keep him.

Some of the open meeting discussion centered on what decisions were allegedly made about this issue during a recent school board workshop. Member Lisa Totten and citizen Reid Rocheleau had concerns about the workshop. Totten wanted more details of the session in the minutes. Rocheleau agreed, and questioned why the board makes so many decisions in closed session.

WSAU’s Larry Lee asked the Superintendent if his letter of resignation stands.  He said, “I submitted my letter, which was an irrevocable letter of resignation back in May.” Lee asked,  “So what if the board decides to say, ‘Would you consider coming back?’, What would your answer be?”  Weninger replied,  “I’ll cross that bridge if that bridge is built.”

The Board of Education is split in its support for Weninger, but after nearly an hour and a half in closed session, they returned to open session where President Angel Faxon quickly announced there will be no change from the previous position.  “The district will not be seeking to retain Dr. Wedinger.”

After the meeting adjourned, Board Member Chris Scott left in tears, saying she was ashamed of the board’s actions. Since those actions were in closed session, its unclear what specific things she’s talking about.

Board President Angel Faxon says the board has not made a final decision about whether to go with a new superintendent or if they should instead delegate the duties across more than one administrative team member.  “The office of superintendent would mean that there are however many people that we would choose, and the only example we have is Omro (WI), so in that district, there are four people that act as superintendents. They have different roles. They are the principals of elementary, secondary, and high school, the business manager, and all four of them are the superintendent, so it isn’t that the office doesn’t exist, it’s shared by four people.”

Faxon says the representative from Omro couldn’t really give the board much information about how a superintendent-less system would work in Stevens Point.  “Not really. I mean he said that it was something so oranges-and-apples for a district this size.  If it was something that this board even considered, we would have to start with the groundwork of, does that mean our cabinet? Does that mean our principals? Who does that even mean would take that role, because it wouldn’t be the same as Omro.”

More discussion about the future of the actual superintendent position will take place September 15th.  The only thing clear for now is Dr. Attila Weninger won't be leading the administration after next spring.

 

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