Board President Tom Strickler resigned after announcing his intention to apply for an administrative position with ELANCO.
Strickler's resignation is effective July 18 at 11:59 p.m.
In a unanimous vote, the board appointed board member Cole Knighton as president, despite his less than desirable attendance record over the past four years, specifically:
In 2013: Twelve regular board meetings: He attended seven. (58%)
In 2014: Eleven regular board meetings with recorded attendance: He attended four. (36%)
In 2015:. Twelve regular board meetings: He attended seven. (58%)
In 2016: Six regular board meetings to date: He has so far attended all six. (100%)
In 2015, board members Alysa Poindexter and Cole Knighton both missed the first three consecutive meetings of the year. By the March 2015 meeting, both Knighton and Poindexter had reached a point in which their attendance was an issue, according to bylaws. They both remained on the board, but Poindexter eventually resigned in June, having missed a total of six consecutive meetings. Knighton kept his seat.
"If any person having qualified as school director and any qualified school director who is a member of a joint board or who is selected as a member of a joint school committee or who is a member of a joint school committee by virtue of the provisions of a joint board agreement shall neglect or refuse to attend two successive regular meetings of the school board, joint board or joint school committee, unless detained by sickness, or prevented by necessary absence from the district, or if in attendance at any meetings shall neglect or refuse to act in his official capacity as a school director, the remaining members of the board may declare his office as director vacant. His office shall be filled from the qualified electors of the district."
No other candidates - including Board Vice President Kathleen Hohenadel - were considered for the position vacated by Strickler. (According to our records, Hohenadel has had 100% attendance at meetings.)
A vacant position will be created when Strickler's resignation becomes effective and Knighton steps in as president. The position was advertised in the June 29 edition of the Merchandiser:
On a related note, board member Fran Resch resigned effective May 31, and the board appointed Keith Combs to fill the vacancy.
Strickler recused himself from part of the regular board meeting of May 12 due to his intention to apply for a Director of District Operations position, the posting for which is shown here:
The director will oversee operations at Columbia School District but will be an employee of ELANCO and will report to the ELANCO superintendent. Columbia taxpayers will foot the bill for the director and a four-day-a-month interim superintendent to the tune of $165,000 annually . . . $85,000 to $99,000 of which will be paid to the director. Reportedly, the superintendent will not receive additional compensation except for travel expenses, etc.
His resume also lists 18 positions and titles he has held over the past 37 years, as well as a BS in Business Administration from Elizabethtown College and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
MORE TO FOLLOW . . .