PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County School Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson’s resignation was accepted Monday night during a packed board meeting at Crook County Middle School.
Board chair Jessica Ritter said she was sad to see it come to this, “Dr. Johnson has done a tremendous job for us the last five years, and to be honest, I tried to talk her out of it because I hate the thought of her leaving”.
Dr. Johnson said the three new board members elected last month are the reason she is stepping down. “I have been committed and dedicated to this district, and have done the work at the level of a superintendent of the year,” she said, adding, “I do not believe that they are accepting of all students. And that is my foundation. I cannot work in a district or a system that doesn’t support all students.”
It was the final meeting for three outgoing members, Ritter, Vice-chair Patti Norris, and Doug Smith who said he is sad to see Dr. Johnson go, “That was not what I had hoped or I think any of this board had hoped. But I think this does create a fresh starting point, if we want to say it, for the next group.”
Dr Johnson told the board her resignation is not a financial advantage for her, “This is an advantage to the district and the new board being able to have someone that they trust, and that they don’t put down and haven’t put down in public.” She will stay on for three months to help the transition for a new superintendent.
“We are losing a heck of a lot. With this change, and a new board, and having to appoint a new superintendent, whoever we end up with we’re going to suffer from a lack of experience,” said board member Scott Cooper, who will be the only holdover when the three new members take the seats next month. Those three, who have been dubbed the ‘mama bears’, have also filed an injunction against the current board preventing them from appointing a replacement for Gwen Carr who stepped down due to health concerns.
The first meeting with the new board members is July 5th.