Antioch School Board postpones discussion of superintendent evaluation process, student trustee

Over 260 public comments, 1,400 signers of petition to support Superintendent Anello; misperception due to “issue of language”

By Anthony Dorado

The Antioch School Board convened for a Special Meeting on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 for a closed session discussion of a settlement agreement regarding a local mediation agreement, the superintendent evaluation process taking place in June 2021 and for the first reading of Board Bylaw 9150-B: Student Board Members. After much disagreement and misperception amongst the board members, both items were postponed to a regularly scheduled meeting in January. The Board voted 5-0 to approve the settlement agreement. (Listen to the board meeting, here)

Superintendent Evaluation

Board President Ellie Householder said she didn’t call for the special meeting. It was already scheduled for the urgent closed session legal matter.  But she wanted to discuss and consider the evaluation process of Superintendent Stephanie Anello to take place mid-2021, not for the actual evaluation. Householder expressed concern over establishing metrics for the evaluation amidst a pandemic with constantly changing circumstances as it pertains to the education of children in the district. She also said she wanted to involve new Trustees Antonio Hernandez and Dr. Clyde Lewis in the process.

Due to what the Board deemed to be an “issue of language,” the special meeting garnered great controversy and public outrage. Many citizens misinterpreted the intention of the meeting, taking it to be a preemptive evaluation of the superintendent, strategically planned for when many would be away on vacation. That misunderstanding resulted in over 260 comments submitted on the matter, but only a few were read, and a petition with over 1,400 signatories in support of Anello.

In response to the influx of comments, the urging of Trustee Gary Hack and a crunch for time, since both Householder and Lewis had a “hard stop at 1:00 p.m.,” the Board decided to postpone both agenda items for the regularly scheduled meeting in January. They ensured the issue would be thoroughly discussed and that all comments would be heard at that time.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.


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