NEW: Board Won’t Ask Weninger to Stay; Still Mulling Move Ahead Without Superintendent Position
Superintendent Attila Weninger. (City-Times photo)
By Sara Marls
Members of the Stevens Point School Board on Monday agreed that Superintendent Attila Weninger’s resignation will stand, bringing to close several weeks of the too-little, too-late debate from business leaders that he should be retained.
The entered into closed session for about 90 minutes before emerging to announce no change in its decision to accept Weninger’s resignation.
“The district will not be seeking to retain Dr. Weninger,” Board President Angel Faxon said in a brief statement.
After four years of contention and finger-pointing and a vote of no confidence from the several employee unions, the board voted during a closed session in May to no accept Wenginger’s resignation and instead to non-renew his contract. Some questioned the legality of that vote, and after a consultation with legal counsel the board announced the vote was not enforceable. The board then reversed its non-renewal vote and accepted the resignation, effective next June.
Since then, dozens of community members and about 14 area business leaders have come forward to show support for Weninger, asking the board to keep him on staff. Several letters were also submitted to the board from municipal officials, including Village of Plover Administrator Dan Mahoney and Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson.
But the majority of the board was unmoved by the show of support, agreeing to not revisit the issue of possibly asking Weninger to stay on in the district.
Board Member Chris Scott left the meeting in tears, saying she felt “ashamed” on the actions taken by the board. Scott has long been a supporter or Weninger, frequently saying he’s done great things for the district.
“This is the best superintendent I’ve worked with in my 13 years on the board,” Scott said.
The board also continues to consider whether or not to retain the position of superintendent at all. Board President Angel Faxon said the board could opt to delegate administrator duties to several positions.
“The office of superintendent would mean that there are however many people that we would choose, and the only example we have is Omro (WI), so in that district, there are four people that act as superintendents,” Faxon said. “They have different roles. They are the principals of elementary, secondary, and high school, the business manager, and all four of them are the superintendent.”
The board first heard the no-superintendent pitch from new Board Member Alex Kochanowski and recently me with a representative in the Omro School District- a city with a population of about 3,500 located just west of Oshkosh- which does not have a school superintendent.
The board meets again to discuss the possible no-superintendent option on Sept. 15.