08-26-03: Parkway board
accused of undermining Karst
|By BETTY LAWRENCE
ROCKFORD — On the eve of the first day of school, Parkway
Education Association (PEA) President Anita Morton blasted the
school board, charging them with undermining decisions of the
“I am extremely upset.
You, as a board, need to wake up,” Morton, a high school
science teacher, said at Monday evening’s Parkway school
She was not speaking for the PEA, she said, but as a district
resident. Morton then handed each board member a copy of the bylaws
dealing with a board’s code of ethics.
are atrocious. You bring your personal agenda to the meeting and,
as a group, undermine Mr. Karst (the superintendent) and school
officials,” she loudly said to the board.
Morton’s bone of contention is the board’s usurping
of Superintendent Doug Karst’s recommendation to hire the
high school advanced math instructor, Greg Grime, as baseball
coach. Instead, board members decided to hire Eric Stachler, health
and physical education instructor at the middle school.
Grime turned down another position this summer and was willing
to make Parkway his home. Your decision to overrule Mr. Karst
and vote in someone else is because of public opinion,”
Grime is beginning his fourth year as a teacher at Parkway schools,
while Stachler is only in his second year, Morton said.
School board member Jeff Long interrupted Morton, telling her
she was out of line, but Morton continued, asking for time to
complete her address to the board.
also see you undermining the administration by your decisions.
You make it extremely unpleasant for our staff,” she said.
Board member Betty DuBry, who has voted against administrative
recommendations in past meetings, said she “does not rubber
stamp” anyone’s decisions.
believe you are this upset over a baseball coach when there are
other things we should be concerned about, such as advanced placement
classes, things like that,” DuBry said. “This is a
coaching position we are talking about, not a teaching position.
And I disagree with what you’ve said.”
Karst, who is starting his fifth year as Parkway superintendent,
called his relationship with the board “workable.”
“It’s not always as smooth as I would like it, but
it’s not distracting our teachers from doing their jobs
either. We have a great bunch of teachers who do a good job,”
At the conclusion of the meeting, board President Kim Brandt and
member Dana Smith said they appreciated Morton’s stand.
“The more opinions we hear, the more effective we can be
as a board. We need to try to listen and learn from them,”
“We appreciate her (Morton’s) opinion
and we need to take it all into consideration,” Brandt added.
In other business, the board accepted the resignation of Gregg
Goewert as dean of students and discussed whether or not to fill
the vacant position.
The position was created three years ago, Karst said, when the
school was placed on academic watch by the Ohio Department of
“I was a big advocate of the position at
that time because so much of the principal’s time dealt
with discipline. Since we’ve had the position, we’re
not on academic watch anymore and our state ratings are better,”
Last week, the department of education released its 2002-2003
school district report cards and Parkway was rated as “continuous
improvement,” a step up from being on academic watch.
The services of a curriculum director or assistant principal were
some of the options discussed to filling the dean of students
Karst agreed to contact area school districts about the services
of a curriculum coordinator or assistant principal in lieu of
a dean of students.
“I want to see what they are doing
and how we could fit it into our system,” he said.
best move, right now, would be not to replace the position and
just go with the school handbook and whatever it says,”
Long said. DuBry echoed the same sentiment.
In other action, the board:
• Approved a two-year supplemental
contract to Rusty Allen as athletic director.
the repair work to the high school and middle school buildings
is not yet completed. The district received $175,000 in Federal
Emergency Repairs Program grant money to fund the project.
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