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  • Writer's pictureRachel Langan

Superintendent's Contract Violates State Law

When we left off in December, we shared that Dr. Sokolowski had violated the 1st Amendment by editing public comments at a school board meeting.

We also shared that Dr. Sokolowski was promoted to be Superintendent 7 months later.

  • Why would the district hire him without first doing their due diligence and conducting a national search?

  • Should the district practice what they preach and utilize the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion when selecting a candidate to hire?

  • Did the district conduct interviews of any kind or did they just hand the job to Sokolowski?

Many of the issues that are problematic in our district today were brought up as concerns in this meeting that took place nearly 2 years ago.

  • 1:33:50 Tiernan talks about whether or not the board should do a national search. She will vote yes to promote Sokolowski because he has pledged to work to heal the community and make it whole.

  • 1:37:45 Shaw explains her reason for voting against hiring Sokolowski, citing the lack of a national search for a candidate. She believes the board owed it to the district to cast a wide net to ensure that they got the best candidate possible. She also believes it would have benefitted Sokolowski to have had the opportunity to present his qualifications alongside other candidates. She then states that they board did not fulfill their duty to the district in hiring Sokolowski because they failed to uphold the principles of equity.

  • 1:39:15 Chester states that her voice was not heard nor included in the letter and will vote no on his appointment. She believes that the board owes it to the public to do due diligence in looking for a candidate. She states "we didn't even try". She then goes on to list some specific concerns she has, including his position on equity and inclusion, as well as the achievement gap for children of color. She is concerned about how much support will be given to the new director of equity. (Spoiler alert: the director resigned 15 months later.) Chester states that "we are honoring the status quo" by hiring him. She also says that we don't know enough about his leadership and notes that her No vote is less about him and more about "our process as a board of directors." She acknowledges that the board did not proceed with due diligence and "hurried the process".

  • 1:43:12 Durnell states that he too will vote No on this appointment since the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are being ignored.

  • 1:45:32 Gallen (no longer a board member) states that he believes that Sokolowski has been groomed for the position and will vote yes on the appointment.

  • 1:46:25 The school board president (at that time) McCune states that he likes where the district is headed and believes that Sokolowski is the person for the job so he will vote yes. He also mentions that Sokolowski has been groomed for the position.

By a majority vote (6 yes, 3 no) Dr. Sokolowski is appointed to the role of Superintendent for a 5 year period.

Why didn't the district's attorneys have advised them that this contract is in violation of the law? Shouldn't the board have followed their own policy in hiring the superintendent?

Are you beginning to see how a hand-picked school board that won't question the status quo is vital to the WCASD admin getting what they want?


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