BA Superintendent Unveils New Team; Shames Questions About Past Superintendent
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - Broken Arrow's new superintendent unveiled her new leadership team Tuesday evening, made up of six admins.
The board also accepted the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Dwayne Thompson. His resignation came just weeks after former Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall suddenly left the district.
When asked about transparency issues related to the recent high profile departures, the new superintendent didn’t have much to add, and even shamed us for asking.
We waited until Tuesday night's board meeting ended to try and get more information about why Mendenhall suddenly left late last year and the timing of why three other administrators also announced they were leaving.
But before we could introduce ourselves, we got stopped.
"I will ask her for you, so if you guys don't mind I will bring them out there," Broken Arrow spokesperson Shelli Holland-Handy told us.
We asked to speak with Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop and Board President Cheryl Kelly.
"President Kelly? She's going to just refer to Dr. Dunlop," Holland-Handy said.
Dunlop talked about how the leadership team will save $250,000 a year and make the district more efficient, but not about the prior superintendent's departure.
Marty: "Any information you'd like to add about why the superintendent left, why we're seeing a lot at once?"
Dunlop: "Now, shame on you."
Marty: "Shame on me?"
Holland-Handy: "Dr. Dunlop, I think what she would like to say, is just that she does not have any information about that because those were confidential conversations between the board.”
Dunlop: "When we agreed to have this interview - turn the camera off, please. When we agreed to have this interview you agreed that we wouldn't talk about that."
Marty: "I did not agree to not talk about anything."
Dunlop: "Okay, sir, we wish Dr. Mendenhall all the luck in the world. We know that he is transitioning to another opportunity."
Dunlop pointed to every employee’s right to confidentially, saying Mendenhall deserved it too.
Marty: "Don't you think they deserve an answer to why?"
Dunlop: [shakes head]
Marty: "You don't think they deserve to know why their superintendent left?"
Holland-Handy: "The answer’s been given by the board, that it was a mutual separation agreement."
Dunlop: "I wasn't here."
Marty: "Was there a problem academically? Was there a problem personally?"
Holland-Handy: "As we've stated before, there was a mutual separation agreement between Dr. Mendenhall and the board."
Dunlop added that people should have no concerns with the timing of Mendenhall's leaving or with transparency issues.
"I don't think so at all. If we had a transparency issue then we wouldn't take this opportunity to share all of our leadership publicly," she said.
Both Dunlop and Holland-Handy said transitions happen all the time in school districts and that the district is focused on the future and providing for the students.