Superintendent Richard Tauer still remains on paid administrative leave as Westminster School District’s Board of Trustees announced no specific action about the position during Thursday night’s board meeting.
However, the board did vote, 4-0, to restore several of the proposed eliminated positions due to the finalization of the state’s budget.
Trustee Andrew Nguyen was not present for the public session meeting, due to his mother’s stay in a hospital, said Mary Mangold, the president of the board.
Tauer was placed on administrative leave during a special closed board held earlier in the month. Rumors circulated that Tauer would be fired, resulting in his supporters packing the board room July 2.
The board met in closed session after the meeting and Tauer’s leave decision was reported after the session the same day.
No official explanation was offered about why the board placed Tauer on leave, and the board did not mentioned Tauer at all during Thursday night’s session, either.
The board did meet in closed session before the meeting. An item, titled “public employee discipline, dismissal, removal” appeared on the closed session agenda. However, Mangold said no action was taken on any of the items. The closed meeting was adjourned to the next board meeting.
Although Tauer’s leave was not explained, a couple of people did speak in favor of him during the night’s meeting.
Westminster resident Ruth Ann Laws said she was out on vacation when the special public meeting was held. Laws said she felt the superintendent was doing a fine job so far.
“I am a citizen of this city,” Laws said. “I work in the school district. I’m not happy again.
“I really would like to know what in the hell is going on,” she added.
After the meeting, Laws repeated her compassion for the school district.
“I love this school district,” Laws said. “I love the students here. I love everything.”
Despite Tauer’s absence, the board did reinstate some of the positions Tauer’s fought for in previous meetings.
The board voted, 4-0, to add back the administrator of categorical programs and assessments and administrator of curricular and instruction positions.
The director of information technology was also reinstated but only as a 10 month position.
The board also elected to restore student class sizes for grades 4th-8th. The restoration will cost the district about $375,000, according to the agenda report.
A music teacher position was also reinstated.
Mangold responded to criticism about the eliminated positions. District staff urged the board in prior meetings that the eliminated positions would hinder the district’s work if not reinstated before July 1.
“It was never our intent to eliminate these positions,” she said. “All of the talk of the district of falling apart from July 1 to July 25 did not transpire.”
She said that the board was always committed to doing what was best for the district.
“I have been steadfast about putting the students first,” she said. “That’s the only reason why I sit on the board.”
Trustee Amy Walsh echoed the same sentiment after the meeting.
“We said all year long that we will reinstate positions once the governor signed that little sheet of paper,” she said.
“I’m just doing what is best for the kids,” she added. “I want what is best for the kids.”