Monroe County School Superintendent Jeff Hauswald finds a new job in Kentucky

MCCSC Superintendent Jeff Hauswald has found a new job.

Hauswald, who was ousted by the board after a series of controversies, has signed a four-year contract to serve as superintendent of the public school system in Boone County, Kentucky.

Hauswald will receive $265,000 in his first year and could receive a raise in subsequent years. He will start his new job on July 1. The superintendent must live in Kentucky and will receive an additional $4,000 for moving expenses.

It is Kentucky’s third-largest school system, with more than 20,000 students enrolled in 15 elementary schools, six middle schools and five high schools, according to the district’s website.

The district said in a news release that it chose Hauswald after a four-month search by a committee that included teachers, administrators, students and community members. The district could not be reached to say how many candidates it had and why it chose Hauswald. The Boone County school district’s community relations coordinator referred questions to board chairman Jesse Parks, who did not respond to an email message.

The district’s publication notes, among other things, Hauswald’s work ethic and “agricultural roots, raised on a farm.”

Hauswald said in the release, “I try to be a servant leader, positional authority doesn’t get you anywhere.

“The reality is that you get power by giving it away,” Hauswald said. “Our teachers and administrators are the experts in their field. They don’t work for me, I believe in working with my staff and for the students, together we will achieve the goal of accelerated learning opportunities for our students.”

The MCCSC school board agreed in March to pay Hauswald nearly $229,000 to leave two years before his contract expired. Under an agreement between the board and the superintendent, Hauswald must receive half of the money within 30 days of July 1 and the second half within 30 days of January 1, 2025.

Buy out: MCCSC pays Superintendent Jeff Hauswald $229,000 for separation

The MCCSC board approved the separation in early March during a 48-second meeting that was criticized as “perfunctory” by the state’s public access counselor.

A joint statement issued by the board and Hauswald after the meeting did not provide a reason for the separation, and board President April Hennessey said at the time that she could not comment because it was a personnel matter.

The agreement between the board and the superintendent contains confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses, but Luke Britt, the state’s public access counsel, said personnel matters are not “de facto confidential,” and unless the separation was prompted by extraordinary circumstances, such as a family member. illness, the board members should talk about the reasons for the separation.

“That’s the kind of thing that needs some serious discussion,” Britt said. “They have to explain what they are doing and provide underlying reasoning.”

In their joint statement, board members thanked Hauswald for his service and listed among his accomplishments leading the district out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the successful passage of a 2022 school referendum that allowed teachers’ starting salaries to be increased from $40,000 . to $57,750.

The separation agreement states that the parties agreed to cancel the contract, “for sound business reasons and in the best interests of MCCSC and (Hauswald.).”

The agreement also states that neither the district nor Hauswald “expect that any disputes will arise between them or that any legal claims will arise from the mutual termination of the contract, but nevertheless wish to ensure an amicable separation.”

The relationship between the superintendent, board members, teachers, students and parents was anything but friendly over the past year.

For example, a plan the superintendent proposed to align the schedules of all high schools led about 250 people to protest on the courthouse lawn on Oct. 23. ​​Protesters said they felt the schedule adjustment was forced on them without proper explanation and without sufficient data. in support of the stated rationale to achieve greater equality.

In a tense school board meeting the next day, the board, by a vote of 4-3, stripped Hauswald of schedule alignment authority. It was a rare moment of disharmony between board members and the superintendent, as the board has often voted in unison in favor of Hauswald’s proposals and recommendations.

While Hauswald said during the meeting that discussions about scheduling alignment began in March 2023, internal documents shared with The Herald-Times show that talks began in early 2022 — though Hauswald said those earlier exchanges were “preliminary.” . The revelations reinforced stakeholder concerns about secrecy under Hauswald’s leadership.

MCCSC stakeholders said in March they were “pleased” and “relieved” that the superintendent will leave at the end of this school year and said they expect the board to choose a successor who values ​​transparency and community input.

Last month, the MCCSC board said Markay Winston, the school corporation’s deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction, would serve as interim superintendent starting July 1.

Boris Ladwig can be reached at [email protected].

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