Hernando superintendent's early departure is official
The School Board voted 4 to 1 with little discussion Thursday morning to approve an agreement setting Alexander’s last day and providing him with 30 days of salary and benefits on that day.
Chairwoman Dianne Bonfield negotiated the deal, which mirrors a clause in Alexander’s contract that allows for a mutual separation. The contract was set to expire June 30.
Board member James Yant dissented, saying Alexander breached the contract earlier this year by failing to properly notify the board of his search for jobs in New England.
“The parties have decided that it's in the best interests of the District, its students and Dr. Alexander and his family to end their professional relationship as reflected herein," the one-page agreement states.
Alexander, after deductions, will receive a check for $14,383.62, according to School Board attorney Paul Carland. The total cost to the district will be $19,859.45.
Alexander spoke only briefly.
“I will hold back tears,” he said. “What I really want to say is thank you to the four of you. This has been a tremendous experience and I will miss all four of you.”
Yant attended the meeting by phone.
Board members were less united on how to fill the vacant position. Some wanted to appoint interim superintendent Sonya Jackson to the top post. Bonfield, citing one ongoing and one planned investigation into school district policies, said the board should appoint someone with a fresh perspective and experience with the district. Bonfield recommended former school district employee Ed Poore and said Poore is willing to take the job until Alexander’s successor is hired.
Board member Pat Fagan recommended former board member Jim Malcolm but said he had not yet contacted Malcolm.
The board ultimately decided to invite Poore, Malcolm and any other potential candidates board members might have in mind to attend Tuesday’s regularly scheduled workshop and discuss the issue then.
Board members agreed that a previously approved timeline to have a permanent successor in place by July 1 is still appropriate.
-- Tony Marrero, Times Staff Writer