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School Board Terminates Schildbach’s Contract Early; Nome Superintendent to Step Down in May

A man standing in front of an American flag speaks while others, seated, look on

The Nome School Board moved to terminate Superintendent Bill Schildbach’s contract early at Thursday’s special meeting of the board. So far, he’s served 6 months of his 2-year contract, which now officially ends in May of this year.

Following the board’s convening in a private, executive session, Vice President Barb Amarok returned with the motion:

“I move to approve early termination of the Superintendent’s contract by mutual agreement of the Board and Superintendent, effective May 4, 2019.”

Board member Darlene Trigg seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. Sandy Martinson then moved to appoint Nome Public Schools Director of Federal Programs, Curriculum, and Instruction, Jamie Burgess, as Interim Superintendent. That motion also passed unanimously.

Due to the nature of personnel matters and legality issues, the Board says it is not required to provide an explanation of what prompted the early termination. And what’s discussed behind closed doors during executive sessions like Thursday’s stays behind closed doors.

But Board President Brandy Arrington did provide a statement to clarify the decision was mutual, saying there isn’t any ill-will between Schildbach and the Board.

“I just want to say the Board is very appreciative of Superintendent Schildbach’s vision for the district and progress made toward goals established by the school board. The action approved today is something that is mutually agreed and will enable Superintendent Schildbach to devote his energy and attention to personal family matters outside of the region. We are very thankful to Superintendent Schildbach for his service to Nome Public Schools and extend our best wishes to him and his family.”

According to Arrington, Schildbach’s contract ends in May so that he can be available to Interim Superintendent Jamie Burgess as she makes the transition, and step in if needed. Superintendent Schildbach was not present at last night’s meeting. Burgess, who was present telephonically, sounded optimistic about her new role.

“We have an absolutely fantastic administration here in the district, they’re thoughtful, they’re committed… I plan to work very hard for you guys over the next couple of months.”

The special meeting followed a work session in which the board invited NPS principals to the table to discuss Strategic Plan Goal #3, which surrounds training staff, educators, and administration local culture and Racial Equity. Plans for increased training are in the works.

Image at top: file photo: Bill Schildbach speaks at the start of the Nome School Board meeting on January 15, 2019. Photo: Katie Kazmierski, KNOM.

Update, Tuesday, February 12: The Nome School Board’s regular meeting scheduled for Feb. 12 has been rescheduled to Thursday, Feb. 14, due to weather.

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