UNDATED (WHTC News) - Ballot proposals, teacher discipline, and job searching were among the issues brought up by a couple of local school boards yesterday.
The Zeeland Board of Education had to hold a special meeting in the morning, instructing district staffers to begin accepting applications from head-hunting groups looking to be retained in what would be a widespread search for a new superintendent. Gary Feenstra announced his retirement on Friday after 18 years, effective in June, and the board would want to have his replacement in place by May. A decision on a searching firm is expected by the end of next month.
Meanwhile, the West Ottawa Board of Education has a personnel matter to deal with. According to reports, English teacher Susan Brennan had worked briefly as a stripper while on sick leave several years ago. She called it a humiliating experience and a low point in her life, but was talked into it by her husband during a time of great financial stress. It was her divorce from her husband that led her to missing work to attend custody hearings. She is also charged with using her cell phone at work and a number of academic violations, including veering from approved curriculum, grading and other violations. She calls the allegations harassment and intimidation. A hearing may not be until May; in the meantime she won’t be teaching.
The WO Board last night also saw blueprints and sketches for a proposed new high school performing arts center, a six thousand-seat football stadium, and technology improvements. All that would be funded through nearly 26 million dollars in bonds, with the board expected next month to decide whether to place a 25-year-long, one-mill issue before voters in the district on May 3rd.