September 17, 2013 10:06:00 AM
Columbus Interim Superintendent Edna McGill's contract has been extended. However, the school board is not yet releasing the terms of her contract.
Originally listed on the regular agenda, McGill's contract extension was taken into executive session after board members Currie Fisher and Angela Verdell suggested a job performance review of McGill. Fisher and Verdell also voiced concern that neither of them has ever seen a copy of McGill's contract. McGill was hired as interim superintendent at the end of June. Her contract was set to expire at the end of September, but the board has not yet hired a permanent superintendent.
Before the board discussed the matter in open session, board member Glenn Lautzenhiser commended McGill for her work.
"I would just like to compliment Mrs. McGill for a job well done," Lautzenhiser said. "You have stepped in during a very difficult time and you provided strong leadership and I'm getting so much positive feedback within our district. I just think you've done an exemplary job and, personally, I would like to thank you for everything that you've brought to the table and the help that you've given our district since you became temporary interim."
Board president Jason Spears then recommended renewing McGill's contract on a month to month basis to "create stability within our district."
Spears said the month-to-month contact would allow for continued smooth operations and communications with state officials as the board continues its search for a permanent superintendent.
When Verdell suggested a performance evaluation of McGill, Spears responded with concern over not renewing McGill's contract and the possibility of not having a superintendent in place.
"While it is certainly important that we keep our focus on the details of this district, we have long neglected -- this board has -- the actual purpose of the board and that is to raise student achievement," he said. "I would ask that this board consider a month-to-month contract so that while we're doing the evaluation and other things... the office can continue to work toward keeping things in order while we, as a board, do our due diligence."
The board then took the matter into executive session. When board members emerged four hours later, they declined to release the details of the contract.
When contacted Tuesday morning, McGill said she was excited her contract had been renewed, but said final details had not yet been worked out.
"I am extremely excited to be continuing my work with this district and looking forward to the achievement that this district can make," she said. "There is so much potential here and I'm excited to be a part of the team."
McGill said the details of the contract should be finalized by the end of this week.
Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
1. Vo-tech: City schools offer Falcons hands-on learning COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Starkville, MSU officials tackling SMART route issues STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
5. Breast cancer survivors share stories of faith, love COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY