School Board Accepts Adams Resignation, Stays Mum On Why Agenda Changed In Closed Session

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The Board of Education May 12 changed the agenda of a special meeting in closed session, then voted on the change without announcing it to the public.

The Board of Education May 12 accepted the Franklin Middle School principal’s resignation, but decided in closed session to change the special meeting’s agenda and not appoint an acting principal for the school.

The board did not announce that the agenda had been changed before voting on it, and afterword members and a district administrator would not say what led to the change.

Whether the change meant that the principal, RaShawn Adams, was expected to report to work through the end of the school year was left up in the air because no district official would answer the question when asked.

At some point after the meeting, the information packet that had been published on the district’s Web site – which included the recommendations to accept Adams’ resignation and appoint Ammon Barksdale, one of the middle school vice principals, as acting principal – was removed. All that remained was the meeting’s general agenda. (Update: The revised personnel report – minus the Barksdale appointment – was posted late in the morning of May 13.)

When asked why the agenda had been changed and Barksdale not appointed acting principal, Brian Bonanno, the district’s manager of administrative services, said that he was precluded by law from talking about personnel issues. Interim schools Superintendent Lee Seitz was not present at the meeting.

When asked if, in light of the change of direction, Adams was expected to report for work in the building, all Bonanno would say is that Adams’ resignation is effective on June 30. Bonanno refused to say whether Adams was expected in the building, saying the matter was a personnel issue and could not be discussed.

Board president Ed Potosnak referred all questions to Bonanno.

Adams resigned suddenly on May 11. In a brief statement released later in the day, district spokeswoman Mary Clark said that “until such time as the Board of Education appoints an Acting Principal, our current building administrators will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of Franklin Middle School, with the assistance of central administration, if necessary.”

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