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Ashland School District Investigation

Ashland School District Investigation

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Published by Mike Donnelly

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Published by: Mike Donnelly on Aug 19, 2012
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08/19/2012

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Report
of
Investigative
CommitteeSouthern
Boone
Counfy
School
Distriet
AugustL6,2012
 
Report ofInvestigative
CarnmitteeSoathernEoone
County
Sehool
Distriet
August
161
2il12
The
SouthemBoone
County
Schooi
Dish{ct
(Disti'icQ
Lras
a
very
strong
reputation
forproviding
al
excellent,
rvell
roundedacademic
and
extra
curr-icular
program
fordiskict
students'
The
Investigative
Conrmittee
(Committee)
appreeiates
the
opporArniqy
to
be
of
service
to
the
Distr-ict
andits
pah^ons.
It
isourhope
that
our
investigation
and
this
report
address
the
allegations
that
have
surfac.ed
as
a
resultofDr.
Deffenbaugh'sresignationletter
ald
otherconcerns
voiced
by
the
public.
\Me
are
extremely
gratefirlto
those
interviewedfortheir cooperation.
We also
eompliment
the
districtfor readily
providingali
irutnr:.ation
requested
by the Commiftee.Requesteditems
were
provided
in
a
very
timely
faslr.ion
and
proved
helpful
w-ith
our
investigation.
Webelievethis report
is
a
fair
assessment
of
the
District
and
hope
it
assists
the
District's
patrons,its
Board ofEducation,
students
,
faculLy,
staff
and
administi'ationin
their
efforl
torefocus
on
providing
excellenteducationaiopportunitiestothe
students
in the
Distu'iet'scharge.
It
is
fi:ither
hoped
the
findings
will
assist
withmodifying
policy,
procedures
and
practicestoensureopen,
transparent
communication
and
consistent
fo'eatment
of
employees, sfudentsand
adminish'ators.
In
so
doing,the
district
will
be
able
to
onceagainearn
thetrust
of
thepeople
rvho
have supported
theirpublic
schools.
Committee's
Proeess
Aft.er
a
thorough
reviewof Dr.Deffenbaugh's
letler,the Committee
reducedher
variousaccusationsto
thesecategories
of
malfeasance:
1.
Nepotism;
2.
Wasteful
staffi.ng;
3.
Favoritism
of
an
employee;
4.
Staffrng
inequities;
and
by
inference,
5.
Wasteful
spending.
Ourinvestigation
focusedonthose
issues.Thisreporl,
however,
addresseseach
ailegation
of
ma6easance
raised
byDr. Deffenbaugh
and
refers
to
each
paragraph
of
her letter.
The
Committeeintervierved23people
beginning
on
July 9,2.012.
Ten
(10)
separate
closedmeetings
were
held,
at
which
ra,e
reviewed
documents
and
records
ofthe
District,
School
Boardpolicies
and
procedures,
and
conductedthe
inteniews
referred
to
above(three
individualswere
interview
hvice).
 
Those interview-ed
ineluded:
Carolyn
Deffenbaugh,
Former
AssistantSuperintendent
Charlotte }v{iller,
Superintendent
Bob
Simpson, Former
Middle
Sctrool
Frincipal
Phyllis
\tr/eter,
Board
Secretar5,/DistrictTreasurer
Jerurifer Reeder,
Superintendent'sSecretary
Nancy
Lenger, Retired
Special
Education
DirectorBridgette
Caaady,
Former
Board
President
Sue
Haugen,
Primary
Principal
Amy
.Iames,
Elementary PrincipalDaleVan
Deven,
High
School
PrincipalTony
Phillips,
Director
of Transportation/Directorof
Altemative
SchooUK-8
Admin.
Support
P
at
Laey,
Athletic
DirectorBrenda Curtis,
SchoolNurse
Jim
McGinais,
Distriet'sAuditor
Tom
Mickes,
Dist-ict's Attomey
BiffBamer,
FormerBoard Member
Bareff
Glascock,Board MernberSeott
Sal-raons,
BoardMember
Jesse
Richardson, Board
L4ember
i
Ellen
Kesterson,Board
President
Bruce
Bauer,Board Member
Joe
Miiler,
BoardMember
NancyRuppert,
Middle
School Secretary
Allegation
of UnderFayment
*f
the
Assistant
Superintendent's
SalarY:
In
paragraphs
1-2,
Dr.Deffenbaugh
alleges
that
in
comparison
to
other
similarly
situated
administrators,
she
isunderpaid.
She
cites'rhe
S/right
Ciff
School
District
as
an
example.
Findings:
1.
Sa1ary
determinations
are
Ieftto the Board
of
Education,
based
onrecommendations made
bythe
superintendent.
The amount
paid
to
a
particular
administ-atoris
in
some
partdetermined
by u'hat'rhedistrict
has
paid
historieallyfor
the
position,
year-to-year
budgets,
job
duties
assigned
to theposition
and
evaluations
ofjob
performanceof the
individuai
administrator.
2.
Tlre superintendent
made
a
recornmendation
for
aZ
percentraise
for
Dr.
Deffenbaugh.
The
recornmendedpay
inerease
wasdiscussed
by
the Board
and
the reeommendationwas
subsequently
approved bythe
Board.

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