Red Lion schools: Contention around superintendent's contract extension


Scott Deisley will continue to be addressed as superintendent of the Red Lion Area School District through at least 2021.

The school board voted unanimously Thursday night to keep Deisley in his current position.

All nine voting school board members approved Deisley's contract, but some residents expressed disapproval of the action and of the timing for adding it to the meeting's agenda.

Discord: Resident Kevin Downs said he received calls from about 35 teachers who expressed negative reactions to the extension of Deisley's contract.

Downs said the agenda was changed at 3:54 p.m. the day of the school board meeting. Teachers were not notified, and the public in general didn't have enough notice, he said.

He also questioned "what the hurry is" to vote on the contract since it wasn't up until December.

He said the change to the agenda was made on a rainy night, with little notice, and that "isn't the way to do it."

Kori Jess said she runs the "unofficial" Red Lion Facebook page, and she has received many messages from teachers unhappy with the possible extension of the contract.

The discord has been centered around the teachers feeling bullied by the administration and being discouraged from attending school board meetings, she said.

Jess also asked what the hurry was to push the appointment through and why there was the change of agenda without enough notice to teachers and the public.

Board reacts: Board president Christine Crone said after the meeting that the contract extension was an addendum item, and that frequently addendum items are added to the agenda, because the agenda is created earlier in the week.

Deisley's contract was set to expire June 30, 2016, and Crone said the school board, by law, has within 180 days of the expiration date to act on the contract, or the contract is automatically renewed for a period of three years.

For this year, 2015-16, and the next, 2016-17, Deisley will be paid $161,160. His salary is reviewed annually.

At the meeting, school board member John Blevins said Deisley has helped keep taxes low for the district. He said improvements are needed, but he is fully supportive of the contract extension.

Board member Joel Ogle said he is very pleased with Deisley, and he gets positive feedback about Deisley's performance when he's in the community.

"I am very excited to give him five more years," Ogle said.

Crone said many changes have been made in recent years, and "we know he isn't going to make everybody happy all the time, but we have a tremendous staff that cares for our students."