Updated: Weninger Resigned in Showdown With School Board Prior to Vote
Photo: Board Members Chris Scott (left) and Lisa Totten. Totten spear-headed a motion to deny renewing Superintendent Attila Weninger’s contract, after which Scott left Monday’s Board meeting at Bliss.
By Donnelly Clare and Brandi Makuski
Stevens Point Area Public School Superintendent Attila Weninger today confirmed he attempted to resign from his position during a closed session meeting Monday night, but Board Members refused to accept it, instead voting to not renew his contract.
The total vote tally was 4-3, with Board Members Lisa Totten, Kim Shirek, Jeff Presley and Alex Kochanowski all voting against renewing the contract. Board Members Trish Baker, Jeff Ebel and President Angel Faxon voted against non-renewal of the contract.
Board Members Renae Sheibley and Chris Scott were listed as “not present” for the vote. A call to Sheibley’s house was not immediately returned.
“I left the room. During closed session, I left. I wasn’t comfortable with what I perceived was going on,” Scott said.
When asked about the timing of the vote, given Weninger’s contract doesn’t expire until 2015, Scott paused before replying, “I don’t know- that’s a good question.”
Board Member Alex Kochanowski, who was elected in April, said he decided his vote based on things which were said during closed session, but would not disclose any details.
“I made the choice to non-renew the superintendent for valid reasons that I will freely discuss at a later date,” Kochanowski said. “Though the vote will appear to the public as 4 to 3, it only happened as of a result of elected Board Members walking out on last night’s meeting. Consider this perspective; by Board Members walking out during a discussion which inevitably leads to a vote they are indeed casting their vote. The decision of non-renewal would have turned the other direction without a doubt if these two members would have remained cast their vote on behalf of the school district they were elected to represent.”
Sheibley, who was present for at least part of Monday’s Board meeting, also tendered her resignation from the Board Tuesday night for reasons she did not disclose.
Weninger, who was not immediately available for comment, earns $200,000 a year in salary and benefits.