What they got instead was the news that Richmond is already on her way out the door.
The superintendent has been granted a leave of absence for personal reasons, the Greencastle School Board announced after opening the meeting.
The embattled Richmond requested the paid personal leave on Tuesday and cleaned out her desk.
The board granted the leave through Jan. 15, and will revisit the matter at that time.
There were indications, however, that Richmond will not be back.
"Right now, we have an accepted leave of absence on file," corporation attorney Bob Rund said, "and legally, that's all we can say."
Board president Mike Dean took it one step further.
"I don't think she'll be back," Dean said.
Pressed further if Richmond's return was a possibility, Dean reiterated, "probably not."
While Richmond's leave and likely departure from the corporation beg many questions for the community, the most pressing on Wednesday was who would be filling the corporation's administrative roles.
Besides needing an acting superintendent, Greencastle High School also needs a principal to replace Jennifer Shepherd, whose resignation was officially accepted by the board on Wednesday.
While board members expressed their confidence in Puckett, it was a fellow administrator, Ridpath Principal Shawn Gobert, who spoke most eloquently about his faith in the interim leader.
"There's no one I respect more in the world of education than Dawn Puckett," Gobert said. "If this piece of the puzzle -- Dawn in this chair -- can't fix the problem, nothing can."
Toward Hesler, who has spent 35 years as a teacher or administrator at GHS and seen multiple principals come and go in his time as assistant principal, board members were effusive in their praise.
"Anything we have ever asked Russ to do, he's done," Dean said. "I think we need an assistant to help Russ, but I think he's a great fit."
The things the corporation has asked Hesler to do over the years have included being a teacher, coach, assistant principal, interim principal (at least four times) and interim athletic director for the entire 2011-12 school year.
At the end of the spring 2012 semester, Hesler was actually serving as interim principal, assistant principal and interim athletic director.
"I have only one question," board member Denise Sigworth said, "Russ, can you wear only one hat?"
The new appointments replace a plan announced by Richmond last week to move Middle School Principal Tamra Walker to the high school and appoint Puckett the middle school principal.
At that time, Walker expressed her excitement to move into the high school, but with the board and administrators stressing the need for stability, she will remain at GMS.
"We think it's in the best interest of the corporation to leave Tamra at the middle school," Dean said. "We talked to her about that and she says she's OK with it."
Puckett also discussed a desire to become a principal and work more closely with students than central office allows. While that opportunity has gone away for now, she spoke passionately about the challenge before her and the entire community.
"I want to thank the board of education for putting their trust in me at this critical time for our school community. And, I want to reassure everyone that Greencastle School Corporation is alive and well," Puckett said.
"Like many people in this room, I've answered the bell for my school in many different ways," she added. "Tomorrow will be no different. I, along with dozens of teachers, bus drivers, secretaries, instructional assistants, cafeteria workers, custodians and administrators will be up early tomorrow to serve our students with a renewed energy and a determination to reach excellence."
This impassioned family of educators, Puckett said, is the key to the ongoing success of the school corporation.
"For as long as my board needs me, I pledge to spend my time serving our students, serving our teachers, serving our administrators and serving our community and our leaders. Together, our school family can succeed," Puckett said.
She concluded her remarks by asking the impassioned crowd to keep its passion and be part of the solution. The next meeting of the school improvement committee is set for Tuesday, Jan. 29. She asked for community contributions at the 6:30 p.m. meeting.
"Please join us. Be a contributing member of our school family," Puckett said.
Further business from Wednesday's meeting will be addressed in upcoming issues of the Banner Graphic.