A special Board of Education meeting was held on Monday, May 14, to discuss matters moving forward after the board received notice that Superintendent Campbell applied for superintendent positions in Wood and Monongalia Counties.
The board voted three to two in favor of withdrawing Superintendent Campbell’s contract. The board then voted to re-extend a contract to Campbell under the same terms with a deadline of May 22 at 5 p.m. The first contract that was issued at the April 3 meeting did not have a signing deadline.
Board members Kevin White and Daniel “Chopper” Evans voted against withdrawing the contract.
School boards are mandated by state code to have a superintendent signed for next school year by June 1, although consequences are generally not applied for missing that deadline.
The board initiated a search for a new superintendent or interim superintendent with the assistance of West Virginia School Board Association, pending the association’s executive board’s approval of the hiring.
Campbell expressed frustration by the withdrawal of the contract. “I’m curious as to what grounds you think you have to withdraw that contract that was made, especially in light of the fact that there was never a deadline?” Campbell asked. “I still work for you until June 30, and you voted five to nothing to give me two years. I have not at any point said I was not going to accept that offer.”
“Except that we know you have two applications and are up for final consideration with two other boards,” board member Janet Preston said.
“I think that is a moot point,” Campbell said. Campbell also expressed frustration that the board did not offer him a contract until April.
West Virginia School Board Association Executive Director Howard O’Cull was present at the meeting to discuss routes on initiating a search for a new superintendent or an interim superintendent.
O’Cull discussed the state code on the matter and presented a booklet to assist the board in making a decision regarding a superintendent. O’Cull advised the board to think critically on a number of matters, including the type of superintendent they want, the relationship between a board and superintendent, the trajectory of the county, and the logistics of hiring.
Conducting a search in an expeditious manner seemed a priority to the board. The board asked O’Cull of ways to quickly accomplish a search. O’Cull estimated the process could be whittled down to three weeks’ time.
Dr. Campbell has worked as Tucker County’s superintendent for seven years.
“I’m just looking at professional growth, that’s the bottom line. These are two of the biggest counties in the state of West Virginia. In order for me to be able to challenge myself professionally and to want to be the role model for other educators that I’ve always prided myself on being, I just felt like with two opportunities sitting there like these two counties, I’ve got to be able to find avenues to be able to continue my professional growth.” Campbell said.