School Board supports retention of Administrators

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

The Geary USD 475 Board of Education has approved a series of motions designed to achieve the end result of retaining Junction City Middle School Principal Mary Wright and Junction City High School Principal Melissa Sharp in their jobs.

There was a motion on the Board agenda to approve the adoption of a resolution for the non-renewal of an administrator’s contract, that of Mary Wright. After about one hour of executive session testimony in support of Wright and BOE deliberation, Board member Anwar Khoury moved to remove the non-renewal item from the agenda. He also moved to rescind the resignation of Melissa Sharp which had been on the personnel report at the meeting. Sharp had earlier submitted her resignation effective at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

The Board also approved  Khoury’s motion to have the Superintendent ( Dr. Corbin Witt ) or his designee address the performance issues of both Wright and Sharp, through an evaluation process develop goals and share the progress toward those goals with the Board.

More than 100 people packed the meeting room at the Devin Center and spilled out into overflow area where they could watch the proceedings via live stream video. When the Board voted unanimously for the three motions there was a standing ovation from the audience that consisted of other school administrators, teachers and community members.

The non-renewal of Wright’s administrative contract drew most of the attention during the meeting, and was the focus of remarks to the BOE from the audience. During the executive session for personnel matters eight members of the public gave or read their prepared statements to the elected officials behind closed doors while others waited outside. Several of those who met one-on-one with the Board also read or told their statements to the group outside the meeting room, all expressing support for Wright.

Wright told JC Post she was “blessed to have so many people who care about me and showed up tonight to show their support. I’m blessed and very thankful for all the people who showed up tonight.”  Wright said she was hoping justice would prevail. “Junction City Middle School is my passion, it’s been my passion for the last 25 years I’ve been at the middle school, it’s my home, it’s my family so I’m pretty happy tonight.”

Sharp was not in attendance at the meeting and has not yet been reached for comment on the Board decision.

BOE President Dr. Ferrell Miller said the public input was appreciated. He said specific direction will be given to the Superintendent who will create a plan, work on the evaluation of that plan and then share the information with the Board as they move forward. Miller feels the Board is confident any deficiencies can be addressed, and they can move forward. “Oh, I think we’re confident. That’s why we made the decision to do what we did.”

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