The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 20, 2014

Agreement pays Diamond superintendent through January 2015

DIAMOND, Mo. — The Diamond School District will have several positions, from the top down, to fill in the coming months after apparently seeking at least two resignations in the past couple of weeks.

What is being termed a “separation agreement” between the Board of Education and Superintendent Trisha Wilson will continue to pay her $92,415 salary through Jan. 31, 2015.

Wilson’s health insurance through the district also would remain in place through that date.

Under the agreement, provided by the district on Wednesday, her employment ends on June 30.

The agreement states that Wilson would perform the duties of superintendent until June 30, receiving all her benefits, including accrued sick leave and vacation pay.

But another provision suggests that Wilson may leave her employment before June 30.

“Anytime after March 1, 2014, either the board or the superintendent may elect to place or be placed on paid administrative leave with health insurance through June 30, 2014,” the agreement reads. “Should superintendent engage in conduct for which tenured teachers are subject to termination, charges for dismissal will be issued immediately.”

Board President Jill Renfro was asked before a board meeting on Wednesday night who would be leading the district after March 1. Wilson also was at the meeting.

“Dr. Wilson is here until June 30,” Renfro said.

The agreement also states that the superintendent and the board agree to refrain from making disparaging comments about each other, orally or in writing, to any third party. It states that the board would provide Wilson with a recommendation letter, if she asks.

The agreement was signed Wednesday, Feb. 12, by Renfro and board secretary Julie Prewitt, and on Thursday, Feb. 13, by Wilson.

The board met behind closed doors during a meeting on Feb. 12 to discuss hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting employees and legal actions. Information released by the district this week after a 72-hour waiting period stated that the board voted in closed session to accept Wilson’s resignation. Wilson’s resignation letter was dated Feb. 12, but she did not attend the board meeting on that date.

The board last week also met behind closed doors with elementary Principal Jeff Payne. Payne referred to the meeting in his resignation letter, which the board approved Wednesday in open session.

“After thinking about the discussion from last night I have decided, in the best interest of the district and my family, to move on from the Diamond R-IV School District,” Payne’s Feb. 13 letter began.

The board on Wednesday also approved the resignation of middle school teacher Ronald Leiser. Both resignations are effective at the end of the school year.

The board on Wednesday again met behind closed doors to discuss hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting employees and legal actions. Board secretary Julie Prewitt said the board took a vote related to the employee matter, with the results to be made public after a 72-hour waiting period.

In unrelated business, the board heard a presentation from Lindsay Reichert and Brad Samuels with Paragon Architecture, Springfield.

The presented preliminary plans for a Federal Emergency Management Agency safe room that would double as a gym and lunch room. Plans also call for a kitchen addition that wouldn’t be part of the safe room. The two said outside of the meeting that they would submit the plans to FEMA by the end of March.

Makeup days

THE DIAMOND SCHOOL BOARD on Wednesday night set makeup days related to weather closures for Monday, March 3; Monday, April 7; and Monday, April 21. The last day of school will be Wednesday, May 28, after the Memorial Day weekend. High school graduation is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, May 17.

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