On Monday morning, the Democrat received notification from Green Ridge R-8 School District Board of Education President Barry White of the decision to host a closed school board meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday to review and decide the future employment of the district’s superintendent, Cara Easter.
Easter was placed on paid administrative by the board Aug. 19.
At that time, the board would not comment on the reasons for their decision to place Easter on leave, stating “The school district does not provide comment regarding confidential personnel matters. The District takes allegations of misconduct by staff members very seriously, investigates them promptly and thoroughly, and addresses them as warranted.”
Since that date, Easter has remained on paid leave.
The board hosted a closed meeting Aug. 26. After a two-hour meeting, a decision was made by the board to ask Aaron Bennett, a retired superintendent and Missouri School Board Association field representative, to act as an advisor to the district for a 30-day time period.
“We have notified Mrs. Easter of our decision to hold this meeting as explained in our board policy,” White said by phone. “She did not respond or ask for a meeting and so we are meeting to finalize our decision regarding Mrs. Easter’s position in the district.”
White added that the district wanted to make the decision of the meeting known to the Democrat, hoping to make the public more aware of the meeting.
Since it is a closed meeting for the purpose of personnel matters, the public is not be permitted to attend. Notification of any decisions do not have to be released until 72 hours after the conclusion of the meeting to allow the employee to be notified of the board’s decision.
White commented that the board hoped to have a statement to release to the Democrat following the 72 hours but added that since the matter concerned personnel decisions the board was limited in what could be made public.
The following are Green Ridge board policies taken from the District’s website stating the terms and conditions the district takes when considering the possible removal of a district administrator.
Personnel Services Regulation 4732
Termination of Employment: Administrators
Contracts for administrators under this policy and regulation may be nonrenewed for any lawful reason. Administrators will be notified on or by April 15 of the Board’s intention to re-employ them in their present positions, another position or to nonrenew their employment. On or by May 15, the Board will provide each returning administrator with a written contract. Administrators will have ten (10) calendar days from receipt of the offered contract to accept or reject the contract. Failure to respond in a timely manner will be considered a rejection of the Board’s offer.
Administrators who have been re-employed by the Board as a District administrator five times or more are entitled to certain due process procedures. Within 10 calendar days of receipt of notification of nonrenewal or reassignment, eligible administrators have 10 calendar days within which to request in writing a statement of reasons for the Board’s action. The Board will respond in writing within 10 days of receipt of the administrator’s request. The administrator will then have 10 calendar days to submit a written request for a Board hearing. The hearing will then be held within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the request for a hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to provide the administrator with the opportunity to convince the Board to reconsider their decision.
Administrators who have been reemployed as a District administrator less than five times are entitled only to notice of nonrenewal or reassignment by April 15.
Adopted Jan 98.
Additional information concerning Green Ridge’s policies may be found on its website.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.