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ANeSU approves separation from Superintendent Adams

BRISTOL — The Addison Northeast Supervisory Union is now just a few steps and mere days away from ending David Adams’s tenure as its superintendent.
On Tuesday evening, the ANeSU Executive Committee voted unanimously to approve the employment separation agreement between the Bristol-area school district and Adams that calls for paying him more than $80,000 in salary, severance and other compensation.
The committee also authorized Chair Dawn Griswold to “execute the agreement and related documents to implement the agreement.”
Executive Committee member and chair of the Beeman Elementary School Board Brad Bull read highlights of the employment separation agreement at the meeting and clarified that Adams had already signed the document. Steps needed to complete the separation would be for Griswold to sign the document on behalf of ANeSU, to have the document delivered to Adams and for Adams to provide a letter of resignation on or before Oct. 27.
Bull also stated that the employment separation agreement would be publicly posted on the ANeSU website.
During the discussion period, before the Executive Committee voted on the motion, Executive Committee member and Robinson Elementary School Board chair Louis DuPont took a moment to note, thoughtfully, that “this is the result of much deliberation over the last three or four meetings, balancing competing interests in the district to the best result we think we have achieved for all.”
The separation agreement includes the following components:
•  Adams will be paid his current “salary” (quotation marks in the agreement itself) of $123,534 through Oct. 16, for a total of $42,762.
•  He will get severance payments totaling $39,594 in two equal installments, one in December and one in January.
•  ANeSU will pay 87 percent of his health insurance and 100 percent of dental insurance  through Jan. 31, 2016.
•  ANeSU will pay $791.92 into his retirement account by Dec. 15.
•  ANeSU will pay $500 per month for life insurance, from Nov. 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.
Given that almost all of the discussions about the employment separation agreement have taken place in executive session, the public has been given little insight into the board’s decision-making process. For example, it’s unclear from the public record at what point what was publicly presented as a case of Adams being on Family and Medical Leave changed to an actual separation process.
Mount Abraham Union High School board member Shawna Sherwin of Monkton resigned from her board on Tuesday. In a letter to Griswold she said she had reservations about how Adams had been treated (see related story here).
The ANeSU board voted at its Sept. 29 meeting to reassign Superintendent Adams’s duties to Assistant Superintendent Catrina DiNapoli, and she has been carrying out those duties and responsibilities ever since. The board chair said at that time that Adams “has been and continues to be on FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave,” but did not say when that leave started. Then, last week at its Oct. 13 meeting, the ANeSU board voted unanimously to authorize the Executive Committee to conclude a separation agreement with Adams. At the Oct. 13 meeting, the ANeSU board also voted to have the Executive Committee work with DiNapoli to frame a process for selecting an interim superintendent and to compensate her for her additional responsibilities.
Adams has drawn fire in the past seven months as voters rejected budget proposals for three of the district’s six schools, the teachers’ union voted no confidence in his leadership and a petition signed by 500 people asked for his resignation.
Executive Committee and ANeSU Board chair Dawn Griswold, responding by email, declined to comment for this article, as “the settlement/agreement is still in the process of being executed.”
David Adams could not be reached for comment.
Reporter Gaen Murphree is at [email protected].

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