By JOSH NEWTON
Tahlequah school board members approved the transition of Lisa Presley into the district superintendent’s role Monday evening.
Board President Shannon Pinson and board members David Morrison and Brian Berry voted in favor of changing Presley’s contract to drop the interim status she’s held since early July. Financial details of Presley’s interim contract, including her base salary of $92,000 per year, weren’t changed under the new contract.
Board Vice President Luke Foster abstained from the vote and provided no reason, while board member Donna Tinnin voted against the move.
“What I want to say is that the reason I’m voting no is not necessarily against Lisa; it’s against the process, and I don’t feel like it’s fair to move an interim from that without having a search, and not opening it up for others to apply,” said Tinnin. “So I don’t want [Presley] to take that personally. It’s against the process, so my vote is no.”
Presley told Tinnin she understood her decision.
After the meeting, Pinson said the board’s decision to make such a change in November is a reflection on the job Presley has done since she took the helm in July.
“We feel very confident in Ms. Presley’s leadership abilities,” said Pinson. “We have heard multiple compliments about her, even throughout the state, not only within our own district. We just feel very confident in her; she’s our superintendent as of right now.”
Presley’s contract as superintendent continues through the end of June 2013.
Pinson said it’s unclear whether the board will opt to open the position to other potential superintendent candidates for next school year.
“We will be doing evaluations after the first of the year – her evaluation after the first of the year – and then we’ll go from there,” said Pinson.
Presley was the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction when she was chosen by the board last June to be the interim, after then-Superintendent Shannon Goodsell resigned.