NEXT STEP: Board Talks Interim Superintendent

Monday night’s West Des Moines school board meeting was intended to start the search for a new superintendent, but some people took the opportunity to tell the board they can’t move forward without an explanation.

“In my opinion that’s a fiscally questionable decision, because it amounts to a quarter of a million dollars of lost fund in our district. And this year we have a pretty cash-strapped district. we don’t know what percent allowable growth we are going to be getting for the legislature, so it seems to me there should be greater accountability to the public if we are going to make a big fiscal decision like that,” said Rob Schebel, an English Teacher at Valley High School.

The school board voted last week to end Superintendent Peter Ansingh’s contract. As part of the severance agreement, Ansingh will be paid about $260,500.

Board members won’t say why he was let go, citing “legal restrictions”. They’ll only say “there was a difference of opinion.”

Monday night was the first time they’ve had any discussion about a replacement- because of open meeting laws. Board members decided to give those interested in the interim superintendent position until next Monday to contact them. They said this route is cost effective and it will move things along quickly.

“We do want to move forward. I was just talking to the principal of this school, and she was saying who is going to sign the diplomas so even for things like that we want to make this decision as quickly as we can,” said Liz Brennan, the West Des Moines School Board President.

Dr. Lisa Remy was suggested as the interim superintendent by several parents, teachers and board members tonight. Dr. Remy is the current associate superintendent of human resources for West Des Moines schools. The Board President said they need to talk personally with Dr. Remy before making her an official nominee. The plan is to have the list of nominees available to the public early next week.

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