Q2 Morning Email Newsletter

Sep 26, 2011 11:09 PM by Drew Trafton - Q2 News

SD2 terminates Dr. Beeman's contract

BILLINGS- The superintendent of School District 2 was fired during a special agenda meeting held by the School District 2 Board.

The following is a timeline (most recent postings first) of notes taken by Q2 during the meeting:

The board votes 7-2 to form a committee to decide upon a process of finding an interim superintendent.

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Trustee Lindy says he thinks there should be more immediate action to appoint an interim superintendent.

Board chair Bryan says we should not approach the situation as if "we're in a crisis".

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There is a motion to discuss forming a committee to lay out a process to find an interim superintendent.

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Trustee Ellis moves to have a discussion to appoint Jack Copps as interim superintendent.

Trustee Wardell says she can think of "no individual" who would further divide the board than Jack Copps.

Wardell says: "That man did nothing for our district."

Bryan accuses Ellis of having discussions about appointing a superintendent outside of the board.

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SD2 Board of Trustees votes to terminate Dr. Beeman's contract, 7-2.

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SD2 Board moves to vote to terminate Dr. Beeman's contract through a mutual agreement clause in Beeman's contract.

Kathy Aragon and Lindy Graves will act on the board's behalf during the negotiations out of Dr. Beeman's contract.

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Bryan says she thinks this is a "done deal" and that Beeman will be terminated.

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Bryan says there is a lack of willingness on the part of the commenters to recognize the financial strain on the district.

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Board chair Bryan says she is not in favor of terminating Beeman due to his ability to be fiscally responsibile.

Bryan says that popularity is not a criteria when hiring a superintendent-- but thinks that seems to be the top priority of the majority opinion.

Bryan says the community needs to decide what it wants in a superintendent-- as she says the community should not say fiscal responsibility should be a criteria if they force the board to fire someone who is fiscally responsible.

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Wardell makes a motion to extend the termination date in the contract to be no later than the end of October.

The motion passes.

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Wardell makes a motion to add a minority member of the board to the committee which will negotiate Dr. Beeman's removal from the district.

The motion passes.

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Trustee Wardell says a common miscommunication in the district over the past 20 years of her close involvement, is that board members are trustees for the teachers.

Wardell says they are not.

Wardell says she is a trustee of the tax payers of Billings.

Wardell says she received calls after "contentious" meeting last week, saying people called her and will never vote for a mill levy again, and that her callers called the professionals of the district "thugs".

Wardell stresses a need to work together-- calls out Trustees Ellis and Kemp for accelrating a process which most likely would have happened anyways (Beeman's termination).

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Trustee Stroebe says she appreciates the boards ability to disagree in an agreeable manner.

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Trustee Moen says she disagrees with terminating Beeman's contract.

Moen says she wonders what Billings Public Schools is doing wrong to have so many superintendents in a short time.

Moen notes that Beeman has saved the district $2.5 million.

Moen notes large deficit which must be met in coming years.

Moen addresses allegations that Beeman has poor communication skills by citing various meetings Beeman attended and the invitation he extended to meet with every trustee.

Moen asks who will address key issues facing the district (future negotiations and budgets) if Beeman is terminated?

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Trustee Aragon addresses trustees and crowd-- re-iterating Beeman's cost saving measures for the district.

Aragon says she has "dire" concerns over district, and financial shortfall.

Aragon says she believes district is facing bankruptcy.

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The board is discussing the motion, seconded by Trustee Travis Smith.

Trustee Moen asks that each trustee wanting to remove Beeman speak about their reasoning.

Ellis expresses no confidence in Beeman.

Kemp says the termination is what his constituency wants.

Stroebe says she does not feel she needs to express her opinion, as the board is voting to terminate under a mutual termination.

Graves notes a need to move forward.

Smith says he doesn't make decision lightly, seconds Graves points.

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Trustee Pam Ellis moves to terminate contract with Dr. Beeman, and that Trustee Lindy Graves acts as mediator for the board.

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Weldon suggests one of two directions from the board: One, that the termination of Dr. Beeman's contract be in writing and mutual.

Or, that they terminate Dr. Beeman's contract "with cause"-- which Weldon does not suggest.

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Weldon says a recent Supreme Court ruling would suggest the item of termination on the agenda would not be legal, or could result in a lawsuit.

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Weldon now addressing board and crowd gathered about provision in superintendent's contract.

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Bryan concludes public comment.

Trustee Travis Kemp informs board that he and Trustee Graves came up with the agenda in order begin a search for a new superintendent.

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Bryan issues warning to the crowd gathered that they are not cheer.

Threatens individual removal.

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Karen Moses, former school board trustee, addresses board as next commenter.

Moses defines the word "trustees".

Moses says that the educators aren't resistant to change-- but rather, the board is resistant to change and that history has repeated itself on the board time and time again.

Moses says: "We're not doing our jobs as trustees" -- "Some of us should be city planners, not trustees."

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Fourth public commenter says the board is making building improvements without making decisions about people-- a reference to a lack of engaging employee groups (two unions have currently filed grievances against the district).

School District attorney Jeff Weldon addresses the issue-- saying the complaint does not pertain to school administrators and no illegal action was taken.

Sukut has letter handed out he and another sent to Dr. Beeman about the "use or lose" vacation policy-- a theme which came to the forefront of attention in May, and into effect in July.

Sukut's letter focuses on perceived illegal items in administrator's contracts.

Joe Sukut, associate principal at Billings Senior High School, is commenting.

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Board chair Barb Bryan asks crowd to be respectful before third comment.

The man urges the board to fire the superintendent.

Second public comment is from "some guy who pays his taxes."

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First public comment is from a " public stake holder".

The man says he does not believe Dr. Beeman should be fired, and that the current agenda goes "too far."

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Board chair Barb Bryan says she received a call around 3:30p.m. to 4p.m. from district's attorney-- a discrepency in the super's contract, which Bryan believes needs to be discussed before the agenda is addressed.

Trustee Ellis brings a motion to not have the attorney lead off the meeting.

Motion passes after heated exchange between Bryan and Ellis.

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Board chair Barb Bryan calls the meeting to order and commences the Pledge of Allegiance.

Board of Trustee members are all present except for Lindy Graves, who sponsored tonight's special agenda-- he is attending the meeting via phone.

There are about 125 people in the board room.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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