Well, the West Bend School Board has compounded its buffoonery of last week and appointed two new principals.
In less than a week, the West Bend High Schools went from recruiting for an Executive Principal to oversee both high schools to two appointed principals. Let’s review the timeline…
On Tuesday of last week there was a closed meeting of the school board to discuss the candidates for the Executive Principal. At this meeting, the school board apparently discussed the issue of two principals (listen about 5 minutes into this video). That would, by the way, appear to be a pretty flagrant violation of Wisconsin’s Open Meeting Law. Changing the organization structure from one to two principals doesn’t come close to meeting any of the eleven possible exemptions from the Open Meetings Law. But it happened…
Late in the day on Wednesday, the School Board gave notice of a special meeting to be convened on Thursday with the vague agenda item of:
2. Executive session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(c) to consider employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility, and take any such action, if necessary, based on its discussion, namely: review and consideration of high school administrative assignments
On Thursday evening, in a 35 minute meeting with almost no public input, no cost estimate, no comment from the Superintendent, no real attempt at any thoughtful consideration – except from Monte Schmiege – and with two board members absent, the board votes to make two principals. It was also the first public meeting in which the board even discussed this policy change.
Two business days later, on Monday, the School Board has appointed two employees to these positions. Apparently no other candidates were considered. And apparently minorities need not apply for leadership positions in the West Bend School District (at least, that is the kind of accusation to which the district is exposed to thanks to this “process”).
It is also utterly unbelievable that this process could have happened so swiftly without substantial coordination by board members behind the scenes. Appointing people to open positions and making these kinds of staffing recommendations and changes are normally the purview of the Superintendent, but the School Board is clearly dictating personnel decisions to him.
I’m sorry to say that the new principals may be great people, but their tenures are tainted out of the gate by this process.