School board places superintendent on administrative leave
In a special meeting on February 7 the Nome Public Schools Board of Education terminated the contract of Superintendent William Schildbach. After a work session of an hour and a half the board convened in a meeting, which went directly into executive session. After fifteen minutes the board returned to the elementary school library and announced they had approved the early termination of Schildbach’s contract for May 4, 2019.
Mr. Schildbach was placed on administrative leave at a February 4 meeting of the school board. His leave continues until the termination date on May 4.
Jamie Burgess was named interim superintendent.
“Mutual termination of the contract was approved by a vote of the School Board at the meeting of February 7, 2019,” wrote Board Chair Brandy Arrington in an email to the Nugget on Feb. 10. “I made a public statement following that vote thanking Mr. Schildbach for his service, and explaining that the decision to end his contract was mutual and would enable him to devote his energy and attention to personal family matters outside of the region.”
The school board does not comment on personnel issues. “The Board does not release information which is private or confidential by law or Board policy or regulation,” said Arrington. “Deliberations on administrative leave and early termination of the superintendent’s contract were conducted during executive sessions. As set forth in Board Bylaw 9011, the contents of executive sessions cannot be divulged except for any vote of the Board following executive session and any information released by the Board to keep the public informed while preserving the confidential nature of the discussions. Family matters of the Superintendent, or any District employee, are private matters unrelated to professional performance and are confidential. There is no ongoing investigation or wrong doing involved.”
There is no board policy that spells out parameters of administrative leave.
Schildbach was hired last April after an extensive search. He was at the time the principal at Mt. Spurr Elementary School on JBER in Anchorage. He’d previously been Director of Assessment in Kotzebue and was principal of Emmonak School in the Lower Yukon School District. He has a superintendent certificate from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
At the time of his hiring Schildbach told the Nugget that he’d feel like he was “living large” in Nome after time in Kotzebue and Emmonak. He looked forward to miles and miles of roads to explore and a change of pace from Anchorage.
“I think part of the reason I’ll be successful here and was successful in the interview was just understanding the population of students we’re working with,” said Schildbach at the time of his hiring. He said his greatest challenge of all would be working in the district office and not in the school. “Not working with kids every day – I think that’s going to be the biggest program,” he said.