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I-S residents seek answers

School board accused of micromanagement

By Jane Myhra

Micromanagement and poor communication were some of the accusations heard during the Jan. 9 meeting of the Iola-Scandinavia School Board.

The public comments were directed at the six members of the board.

“It is not the duty of the board to micromanage,” said Asheree Opperman.

She expressed displeasure with the way the board handled complaints concerning her position as cross country coach and assistant track coach.

She said the accusations were “entirely false.”

Opperman said a board member was heard making “unprofessional” comments and “bashing the district administrator.” She claimed this person stated that he planned to resign as a board member so he could be hired as a coach.

Asheree’s husband, Joe, said he heard that District Administrator David Dyb was fired because he did not fire Asheree.

Cindy Buttles said the board needs to “separate business life from private life.” She asked why the board waited to fire Dyb until after the referendum passed.

“There is no excuse for lack of communication,” said Jill Sharpe. “Poor communication leads to speculation. Right now the community mistrusts our school board.”

She asked that the board provide short and long-term plans regarding the district administrator.

“Things are in process,” board member Mike Koles said. “Some things happened beyond the control of the people at this table that make it impossible to communicate quickly.”

“I am worried about our reputation and being able to find good staff if this situation is not handled right,” said Tom Opperman, who served on the school board for 30 years. “We made the school district what it is and I hope someday we won’t be saying we made it what it was.”

Prior to hearing the public comments, Board President Kristen Hoyord read the following statement:

“We understand that you have questions and concerns about the operations of the district, including and perhaps especially, personnel matters involving district employees. We also understand that many people in the community are spreading rumors and speculating about recent events.

“Please understand that the district has an obligation to protect the privacy and confidentiality interests of its employees. As a result, we are generally unable to comment on personnel matters in public. This even prevents us from addressing incorrect information we hear in the community.

“Please know that the board is aware of and working through various personnel matters and will update the staff and public when we are able to do so. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and understanding.”

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