SCHOOL BOARD TRYING TO RESOLVE SUPERINTENDENT CONTRACT
By SCOTT GRAVES
The Brookings-Harbor School Board will meet in executive session Monday, April 1, in hopes of wrapping up its annual review of Superintendent Paul Prevenas and to decide whether to renew his contract.
This will be the fourth time the board has met in a closed meeting to discuss the issue. The process, so far, has not been without controversy.
The board received a petition with more than 100 signatures from parents and citizens asking it not to renew Prevenas contract. Several board members said they received phone calls from people asking the same.
Board member Mary Anderson said a caller recently threatened her should she renew Prevenas contract.
Every year, the school board must evaluate Prevenas job performance. His current contract requires the board inform him of its intent to renew his contract, or not, by April 1.
The board began the process by holding an executive session following the March 11 regular school board meeting.
While the executive sessions are closed to the public, The Pilot has attended each meeting. Prevenas has also been present at all but the first meeting.
Oregons public meeting law allows school boards and other government entities to meet in executive session to discuss such issues as litigation and personnel matters.
The media is allowed to attend such meetings but, by law, is not allowed to report what is said or done.
School board chairman Brain Larrson said the board will announce any decisions it makes regarding Prevenas evaluation and employment in a public meeting.
Prevenas final evaluation will be placed in his personnel file and will be a public document, Larrson said.
Prior to going into its first executive session March 11, the board received the petition asking it not to renew Prevenas contract.
The petition questioned Prevenas ability to be a leader and effectively communicate with teachers and parents. It encouraged the school board to immediately advertise for and hire a new superintendent.
That, however, is not possible. Should the board decide not to renew Prevenas contract, his employment will not end immediately because there is one year left in his three-year contract, Larrson said.
Several citizens addressed the board at the March 11 regular meeting, questioning Prevenas ability to oversee the districts multi-million dollar budget.
Prevenas said he was surprised and disappointed by the petition and complaints, saying he was being blamed for things that are not his fault.
Prevenas isnt the only one under attack. Prior to the beginning of an executive session on March 20, board member Mary Anderson publically told the board that she had received a threatening phone call.
An element in this community is trying to influence my vote, Anderson said. I received a phone call telling me that if I vote to give Paul a three-year contract, this person will go all out to correct that.
Anderson said she was called by a fellow board member who told her that someone left in the mailbox a copy of a court action stating why Anderson lost her business two years ago (see related story, Page 1A).
I feel that I am being threatened, Anderson said. I do not like it and I would like to say that my vote is not for sale. I will always vote my conscience no matter what the subject.
To evaluate the superintendent, the board is using a form that includes areas such as leadership and district culture, communications and community relations, management and union relations.