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Stories Added - December 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
OISD reaches agreement to end Supt.Kennedy’s contract
Polk County Enterprise - December 2008
ONALASKA – Trustees agreed on a settlement that brings an end to David Kennedy’s tenure as Onalaska Independent School District Superintendent following a discussion in closed session Monday. The agreement — which does not contain specifi c details surrounding Kennedy’s departure — provides that he will remain on paid administrative leave with salary and benefi ts through Dec. 31. The severance payment will be made in early January. Both parties agreed to discharge any past, present or future lawsuits according to the agreement. Kennedy has been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 29. Last spring, Kennedy surrendered to law enforcement offi cers in connection with an arrest warrant being issued for failure to report in connection with an investigation into allegations of sexual assault of a child made against former Onalaska coach Jimmy Taylor who was later indicted by a Polk County grand jury. The agreement includes a provision that the resignation or settlement agreement does not raise a duty by OISD to report actions to state regulatory agencies or boards. Additionally, OISD provided Kennedy with a written reference for future employment opportunities. Lynn Redden, elementary school principal, was assigned to handle daily district operations since that time. Trustees also discussed a letter of resignation by Troy Parton, principal at the junior/senior high campus. Following the closed session, the board accepted Parton’s resignation and complimented him for his service to the district. Parton accepted a superintendent position in Paduca, Texas and will vacate the principal position at the end of the calendar year. Parton took the opportunity to thank board members for the experiences he gained in Onalaska. “I have learned a lot.
I am better and more effi cient because of my experience here,” Parton said. In other agenda items, Debbie Kirkham of the accounting fi rm Hereford, Lynch, Sellars and Kirkham presented the fi nancial audit report for 2007-2008. “This is a good report card for the district,” Kirkham said. She complimented administrative staff of the district for recordkeeping and compliance during the audit. Rhonda Scholwinski, technology and curriculum director presented the 2008 academic excellence indicator system report (AEIS) for OISD. The district is rated academically acceptable overall. The elementary school is rated recognized while the junior senior high school is academically acceptable. The Powerpoint presentation given by Scholwinski included state mandated reports in areas such as attendance rate, annual dropout rates, higher education readiness, college ready graduates, student mobility rates, student to teacher ratio, average years experience of teachers and teacher turnover rates among other issues. Overall, the district is within or above compliance standards Principal Lynn Redden reported the elementary school enrollment continues to grow with 548 students. Principal Troy Parton reported student attendance at the junior senior high school is 365.
He added that one act play participants recently placed third in recent competitions with best actor and all-star students named. In other business, the trustees approved a bid for property delinquent in taxes located in Impala Woods #3 subdivision while rejecting bids for lots or tracts located in Forest Hills subdivision and Abstract 207 in the C. Devore Survey. Steven Bryant, president of the Junior Senior High School Band and Choir Booster Club addressed trustees recognizing their support for the band and choir. He reported seven junior high students competed in regional band competitions and band members recently were involved in community service by playing during Christmas in Our Town. Bryant reported the choir and band recently collected $8,000 through a cookie dough fundraiser. Bryant also suggested to the trustees that the cafeteria is in need of a sound system. The next regularly scheduled meeting of OISD board of trustees is 6:30 p.m., Jan. 19, 2009 at the administration building.