Lovejoy's resignation not sudden
BAINBRIDGE -- The resignation of North Putnam School Corporation superintendent Mary Sugg Lovejoy may have seemed sudden and unexpected. However, the issue was already covered in executive session before the Thursday, Nov. 17 meeting.
According to state law, an administrator's contract must be presented for renewal as a motion in a board meeting before the final year is reached. In Lovejoy's case, as her contract will expire on June 30, 2012, a board member had to present the matter of extending Lovejoy's contract for one, two or three years, if at all, by the final board meeting in December.
The issue of whether to offer an extension was discussed in an executive session. In executive sessions, the actions or information revealed or discussed cannot be revealed to the public and is not part of public record. However, board members can discuss their individual feelings regarding the issue up for discussion, as well as their own ideas regarding the issue of the resignation.
As a result it is unclear exactly what decision the board as a whole would have come to, though individual members could discuss what they felt was the right decision.
Board members Debbie Sillery, Mark Hoke and John Hays chose not to comment personally or professionally on the issue.
"She offered her resignation and the board accepted it," Hays said.
Board member Oliver Haste had no personal comment, but he appreciated the job Lovejoy had done during her time at North Putnam.
"She has worked hard to serve the people of North Putnam School Corporation," Haste said. "I don't have any real opinion as to why she did what she did."
Board member Charlie Boller said he personally would not have made a motion to grant Lovejoy a contract extension past her current one. Lovejoy made the choice to voluntarily leave at the end of her contract, and the board was not entirely surprised by her decision.
However, in Lovejoy's resignation speech, she stated she has always focused on what was best for the children. Boller said he did not always believe this was the case.
"There have been on more than one occasion things that were not in the best interest for the corporation," Boller said.
Haste mentioned that Lovejoy made several bold statements in her resignation speech, including claiming to have completely eradicated the school's $3.5 million in debt, raising test scores on ISTEP+ and End-Of-Course assessment tests and helping the school corporation earn an "A" rating by the IDOE for Adequate Yearly Progress.
According to the budget projections shown during the Thursday, Aug. 11 board meeting, the school budget is currently ahead by $1,804,369 and will have $250,000 left of its debt by the end of the year.
The debt will be paid in full by the end of 2012, assuming the corporation stays on budget.
The Banner Graphic made attempts to contact board members Travis Lambermont and Jacqueline Simpson, but they could not be reached for comment.