Q2 Morning Email Newsletter

Oct 19, 2011 10:34 AM by Drew Trafton

SD2 chair resignation spurs action and reaction from district

BILLINGS- As news of School District 2's chair Barbara Bryan's resignation rippled through the district Tuesday, those connected to Billings Public Schools reacted to the recently shifting face of leadership.

Just weeks after the Board of Trustees voted to remove their superintendent, they'll now be voting to elect a new chair from among the now 8 current trustees.

Clerk for the School District 2 Board of Trustees, Leo Hudetz, told the news station the first steps forward after the resignation will take place following Friday, when the resignation becomes official following a 72-hour waiting period.

Following that period, the trustees will call a special board meeting where they will vote for a new chair to succeed Bryan.

The person elected to serve as chair will serve in that capacity until May, when the board anually re-organizes their leadership.

Trustee Kathy Aragon currently serves as vice-chair on the board but, according to Hudetz, the title does not include succession to the chairmanship.

Hudetz says Aragon may facilitate the special board meeting, but that responsibility could also fall to him or someone else.

As for Barbara Bryan's District 6 trustee position, the board will take applications and choose from among the interested to take her vacant seat.

That seat is up for re-election for May, and so the person selected will have to run for election if they wish to retain the trusteeship.

Although the shift does take away from the immediate business of the board, President of the Billings Education Association Jeff Greenfield says the move is just one phase of change needing to occur on the board.

"Something needed to change on the board: this is one step," said Greenfield. "But I don't want to paint the picture that changing the chair is the only issue. It took nine board members to get where we are today."

In the short term, Greenfield says he has a positive about the outlook about the district, and hopes the board uses the resources at their disposal to pick an interim superintendent and takes their time to pick a good leader as the new superintendent.

As far as the schools themselves are concerned, West High Principal Dave Cobb says the shake-up at the district is out of sight and out of mind when it comes to daily operations, which is a place the problems need to stay.

"You know, it really doesn't affect us much at the building level, nor do we really allow it to," said Cobb. "We have to maintain our focus and our goals each and every day, and sometimes those things can be a distraction so we don't want those types of things to be a distraction for us."


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