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LUHS Board Issues Preliminary Notice of Nonrenewal to Administrator

Wikimedia Commons GP Reimer

The Lakeland Union High School District board of education has issued a preliminary nonrenewal notice to District Administrator Rob Way following Monday’s special school board meeting.

The board has until Feb. 28 to issue a written notice of nonrenewal by registered mail to Way. If it doesn’t then his contract, which expires June 30, would roll over for another two years.

After Monday’s closed session the board voted 8-1 to issue the preliminary notice. New board member James Wescott voted “nay.” Voting “aye” were Barry Seidel, Gary Smith, Heidi Fink, Barb Peck, Pamela Carroll, Shawn Umland, Matt Kock and board president Shari Nimsgern.

Under Way’s initial contract, he was to spend 40 percent of his time on district administrative duties and the remainder as director of curriculum. The contact offered an annual salary of $138,738 for the first year (2019-20).

At that time, Way was in his fifth year as director of curriculum and instruction/pupil services. He replaced Jim Bouché who retired as district administrator.

Reached by e-mail, Nimsgern had no comment other than to say the board by majority vote had approved the preliminary notice of nonrenewal. Way did not immediately respond for a comment.

Following state law

State law outlines the procedure that school boards must follow in issuing preliminary and formal notices of nonrenewals to teachers and administrators. It’s a two-step process: a preliminary notice followed by a formal notice, both by registered mail.

A school board must provide an administrator with a preliminary notice of nonrenewal in writing at least five months prior to the expiration of the contract, according to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

The preliminary notice must state that the board is considering nonrenewal of the administrator's contract. The administrator has the right to a hearing before the school board prior to receiving the written, formal notice of nonrenewal. An administrator requesting a hearing must file this request with the board within seven days of receiving the preliminary notice.”

The hearing must be held sometime between Feb. 7 and 28, and the administrator has the option of having it held in public or private. If requested, the school board must provide written reasons for considering the nonrenewal.

For contracts that expire June 30, the school board by majority vote of the full board must send the administrator a written, formal notice by Feb. 28 that the contract is being terminated or renewed.

If a renewal is offered, or no notice, then the administrator has until March 31 to accept or reject it in writing.

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