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ACSU won’t renew Sease’s contract

MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) will soon be in the market for a new superintendent.
The ACSU board on Wednesday, Feb. 9, voted 22-2 against renewing or extending the contract of current Superintendent Lee Sease, a move that will end his employment with the district on June 30.
It is a vote ACSU directors made after a lengthy closed-door meeting and affirms a decision the board made back in April of last year.
Carol Ford, ACSU board chairwoman, said she could not discuss details of what led to the vote because it was a personnel matter.
Sease has served as ACSU superintendent for the past seven years. Prior to that, he had served one year as director of ACSU’s special education program.
The ACSU central office has come under scrutiny in recent years in light of some discord between top administrators.
Longtime ACSU Associate Superintendent Janice Willey announced plans in December of 2009 to resign from her post, citing concerns about what she said was a recent shift in her job description made without her input.
The ACSU board at the time chose not to take action on Willey’s letter of resignation and instead commissioned a consultant to study the working climate in the district office. The board also brought in a mediator in an effort to reduce conflict.
Results of the ACSU central office climate study have not been released publicly. ACSU officials have said the climate study remains a private document because it involves supervisory union personnel matters.
Sease, in a brief statement e-mailed to the Addison Independent, offered his take on the ACSU board’s decision:
“On Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, the ACSU board chose not to renew my contract beyond June 30, 2011. All I have to say is that in my seven years here, I have tried to do what my conscience told me was right for the children and for the citizens of this community. I have sought counsel and guidance when necessary in doing so. I have tried to refrain from playing politics. In a supervisory union of eight school districts and 52 board members, there is always the risk of falling out of favor. I believe that is what happened to me. Following your conscience does not always make life easier, but it sure does free the spirit.
“I wish the ACSU and its member schools the very best.”
John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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