Fayette BoE votes 4-1 on Bearden’s ‘mutual termination’ agreement
UPDATED Thursday, Sept. 20, 6:40 p.m. — A press release just issued by the Fayette County School System has shed no light on the reason or reasons for the "mutual termination agreement" between Superintendent Jeff Bearden and the Fayette County Board of Education. The text of the press release is provided below.
The Fayette County Board of Education Wednesday afternoon entered into a "mutual termination agreement" with Superintendent Jeff Bearden that will take effect Jan. 1. There was no discussion on the matter after the school board returned from a three-hour executive session and voted 4-1 on the termination recommendation.
The press release by school system attorney Phillip Hartley and issued late Thursday stated, "At a specially called meeting on September 19, 2012, the Superintendent and Board of Education agreed, in accordance with the terms of the Superintendent’s employment agreement, to a mutual termination of that agreement effective January 1, 2013. The Board of Education expresses its appreciation to Dr. Bearden for his leadership and many initiatives that have improved the School District during his service as Superintendent. Dr. Bearden expresses his thanks and gratitude for the encouragement and most of all the support of the staff, parents, and community. The Superintendent and all Board members are committed to a smooth and productive transition, continuing to address the needs of the School System and providing the best possible education for the students of Fayette County."
Contacted Thursday morning, school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said she expected the press release to be issued before the day was over, adding that the press release would be the only information provided by the school system pertaining to the mutual termination agreement.
At the Wednesday called meeting and after the board returned from executive session, Chairman Leonard Presberg asked if there was any recommended action resulting from executive session. Bearden in presenting the recommendation said, “I recommend the board and superintendent enter into a mutual termination agreement to be effective Jan. 1, 2013, that will include an additional year of compensation and appropriate benefits. The written agreement will be prepared by the school district attorney.”
Asked by Presberg for a motion, board member Janet Smola moved that the board accept the superintendent’s recommendation, followed by board member Bob Todd who seconded the motion. The vote was 4-1, with Smola, Todd and board members Terri Smith and Marion Key voting in favor of the motion and Presberg opposed.
There was no discussion prior to the vote and nothing said after the vote. The meeting ended immediately thereafter.
The school system will be contacted Thursday, Sept. 20, in hopes of receiving additional information relating to the termination agreement.
The called meeting began at 3 p.m. with the school board going immediately into executive session. The board remained in executive session until 6 p.m.
Present at the meeting but not in the school board chambers was school system attorney Phil Hartley.
CORRECTION — Story initially had wrong day of meeting. That has been corrected to "Wednesday."