Douglas County school board director condemns superintendent search process

Board Director David Ray will not attend meeting to approve superintendent contract in protest

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Douglas County school board Director David Ray will not attend a special board meeting called for this evening to approve the next Douglas County Schools’ superintendent’s contract in protest of what he called “a deeply flawed selection process.”

In a statement, Ray said he would not attend because the meeting’s sole purpose is to approve the proposed superintendent contract.

“Speaking as one director, I believe this meeting is the culmination of a series of unethical and unacceptable practices. These include the wrongful termination of the former superintendent, a deeply flawed selection process, and decisions/discussions that were made outside of the public eye,” Ray said.

The board voted on March 22 in a split 4-3 decision to name charter school director Erin Kane as DCSD's next chief. She replaces Corey Wise, who was fired without cause in a 4-3 decision on Feb. 4. Wise spent his entire 26-year career with the district.

A conservative board majority of Directors Mike Peterson, Becky Myers, Christy Williams and Kaylee Winegar said Wise was not the right leader for DCSD amid brushback regarding the district’s COVID-19 response and an educational equity policy.

They are battling a lawsuit alleging the four also broke open meeting law by using private, serial meetings to plan Wise’s removal behind closed doors. Peterson and Williams privately asked him to step down on Jan. 28.  

The majority voted to instate Kane amid a highly scrutinized search process, including accusations they had predetermined her as DCSD’s next leader before voting to remove Wise. The search timeline was also a point of contention as majority supporters praised its speedy process while critics said it was alarmingly short.

Peterson, the board president, was not immediately available for comment regarding Ray’s announcement.

david ray, douglas county school board, mike peterson, becky myers, christy williams, erin kane, DCSD superintendent

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