may be in the market for a new assistant principal following last night’s meeting of the .
In the early part of the Aug. 27 meeting, in a seemingly straightforward vote, the board unanimously accepted a list of five resignations, including that of Janine Mathesz, assistant principal at Emmaus High School, effective Aug. 20.
It wasn’t until the tail end of the meeting -- when Board President Charles Ballard asked if anyone had any “New Business” to bring before the board -- that things got interesting.
That’s when School Director Lynn Donches made a motion not to fill the open assistant principal position at the high school. “[We should] consolidate the duties among the remaining four principals,” Donches said.
“A number of people have asked me, ‘why do we have so many assistant principals?’ There are a lot of administrators. We are top-heavy on the administration side. Like in any business, when someone vacates a position, we need to evaluate and see if we can consolidate things.
“We need to start cutting spending, and I think that this is a good place to start,” she said.
Ballard told Donches that she had a responsibility to let the board know that she was considering such a motion prior to the last five minutes of the meeting in order to give people time to do their own research into the idea and prepare their thoughts on the topic.
“I don’ t know where to begin on this one,” Ballard said. “This is classic micro-management by the board. We hire a superintendent to manage the district. If you disagree with his policies you should make that known to him and to the board.
“You owe a duty to the other members of this board to float this out as soon as you received your packet. It is damn unfair to try to spring surprise after surprise after surprise.
“That is entrapment of the worst sort. It is political entrapment, making such a statement without having the intestinal fortitude to make your feelings known beforehand,” Ballard said. “Why someone would think they can do a better job than the superintendent, I don’t know.”
Donches’ motion failed by a 5 to 2 vote, with Donches and School Director Julian Stolz voting in favor of the measure. School Director Michael Policano abstaine from the decision, stating that he didn’t feel he had enough information to participate in the vote.
After the meeting, Donches said that there wasn’t a lot of time to talk to the other board members about the motion she proposed between when the board received its packet on Thursday and the Monday night meeting. “I really didn’t think about it sooner,” she said, adding that she was not surprised by the board’s ultimate decision.
School director Rebecca Heid was absent from Monday night’s meeting.