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Alachua County School Board Member Says Superintendent’s Contract Should Be Reviewed Per Policy

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) — With Superintendent Carlee Simon’s contract still pending, Alachua County School Board member Mildred Russell said her policy requires more than just approving the superintendent’s evaluations.

The board approved those assessments on Tuesday. Board member Leanetta McNealy thinks the meeting with the contract on the agenda will not stop at just a discussion.

“I’ve never heard of an organization doing assessments and just grading them,” Mildred Russell said.

Related story: Alachua County superintendent’s job to be reconsidered after three poor board member reviews

Mildred Russell, Rob Hyatt and Gunnar Paulson all gave Simon satisfactory ratings below.

At the school board workshop on Wednesday, Russell said the policy calls for further review after assessments are submitted.

“We have to have a discussion and the policy says we have to figure out whether to continue with the contract,” Russell said.

The policy reads, “the board should be prepared to judge whether to retain the superintendent.”

But even though the contract will be an action item on March 1, Russell and McNealy said they don’t yet know exactly what they’re voting on.

“I don’t know where this will lead, but I think always a good, honest discussion is a good thing,” Russell said.

McNealy said their district board room just isn’t big enough to accommodate all the people who will come to speak at that March 1 meeting.

“It seemed to me that there was probably a decision for the contract to lead to something other than just talking about the contract,” McNealy said.

McNealy and Tina Certain gave Simon a highly satisfactory overall rating, but fellow board members thought otherwise.

“Based on what people have read in all of our comments, this doesn’t look good and we’ll be here until tomorrow,” McNealy said.

Regardless of what happens to the superintendent’s contract on March 1, Simon told TV20 that she feels her job isn’t done as superintendent.

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