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Non-renewal of Clark County superintendent’s contract stirs controversy

WINCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — During the Board of Education meeting on Monday, the Clark County board voted to not renew the superintendent’s contract. It was a 3-2 vote and as Superintendent Paul Christy told LEX 18, it was a vote he anticipated.

The review of Superintendent Paul Christy’s contract began earlier this month and on Monday, the board voted 3-2 not to renew it.

“Ms. Richardson put in a motion not to renew his contract, it was seconded by Ms. Brenda Considine, and voted for with Megan Hendricks being the third. With Ashley Ritche and myself voting to renew the contract,” Vice Chair, Bill Taulbee said.

Sherry Richardson, who filed the motion, declined to comment. But some are speculating the decision for the non-renewal came after Superintendent Paul Christy decided to continue to keep students learning virtually, while other districts went back to in-person learning.

Taulbee says he doesn’t know what else the superintendent could have done.

“Well those districts came to school early and closed too, it kept our incident rates down,” Taulbee added.

When LEX 18 spoke with the superintendent Wednesday afternoon, he said the vote was no surprise.

“Based on a text message I received from a former board member back in early February, telling me that the new board members were going to do a lukewarm evaluation and then vote for a non-renewal on the contract,” Christy said.

Despite the vote, people from students to parents spoke at the beginning of the meeting on behalf the superintendent.

“I don’t know what the outcome will be tonight, but what I do know is that he’s a good man. And I believe that he has done everything he can, under the circumstances, to keep our kids safe,” one parent said.

Bill Taulbee said that he believes overall, the community supports Christy.

“I just feel like this vote doesn’t represent the community, (it) doesn’t represent the community’s feelings,” Taulbee said.

The superintendent says since the first evaluation in August, the only things that have changed are COVID-19 and having two new board members.

“That’s what makes it kind of disappointing, to go out 30 years this way. Knowing what the district has gone through and the changes that’s came about academically and facility wise,” Christy said.

The Board of Education says they will form a search committee for the next superintendent within the next 30 days.

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