Archive for Thursday, May 17, 2001

School district regroups as Winans walks away

May 17, 2001

Eudora school officials are tight lipped about why superintendent Dave Winans resigned on Monday, only citing differences in leadership style between himself and the Eudora Board of Education.

Last Wednesday, the board met with Winans in executive session, discussing his one-year evaluation. After executive session, the evaluation forms were sent home with board members, to be filled out and returned next month.

The board members need not bother.

On Monday, Winans submitted his resignation to the board effective June 1 and left the same day. Board president Marion Johnson said the group discussed the possibility of his leaving, yet his announcement so soon after the meeting came as a surprise.

Board member Greg Neis said an agreement had to be worked out between the district and Winans because the superintendent was leaving before the end of his two-year contract. Winans was hired in May 2000 after serving 12 years as assistant superintendent for the Leavenworth school district.

"We made him an offer," said board member Greg Neis. "To be realistic, if he wanted to, he could have held us to another year. His care for the students was what led to his offer to resign."

Johnson agreed that "a difference in leadership styles" was a factor in Winans' resignation, but he didn't have an idea of what an optimum leadership should be for the position.

"That, I don't have an answer to," he said.

Winans made his resignation official through a press release on Monday. He refused any other comment on his resignation.

Thursday, the board will officially accept Winans' resignation and finalize his compensation in a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the district office. The board will also determine who will fill the position of acting superintendent and what will be done to pursue a permanent replacement.

Neis said he disagreed with Winans' method of budget preparation. At last week's meeting, Winans presented the board with a budget outline using a system of program budgeting. Program budgeting is different from the district's traditional method of budgeting. The method calls for each program director, such as a department head or building administrator, to have a more involvement in the budget preparation.

"My main beef was the budget process," Neis said. "I think that's a viable budget process, but not for a district our size."

Board member Joe Pyle said he thought Winans was a committed educator and he wished him well in his future endeavors.

"There's no ill will on my part," Pyle said. "I think that Dr. Winans had good intentions and he's an honorable man and it just didn't work out."

As the board determines who will fill the superintendent vacancy, it will also work on sending a bond for a new high school to the voters. Johnson said there had been no communication from the board that it would stop work on sending the $16 million bond issue for a new 500-student high school to the polls in November.

"To my knowledge, there's been nothing that says the board won't proceed down that path," he said. "I presume the board wants to continue on with the bond issue in the fall."

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