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UPDATE: Huntsville School Board votes to extend superintendent’s contract through 2017

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Huntsville School Board members voted to  extend Superintendent Casey Wardynski's contract through the summer of 2017 and make it an "evergreen" contract that will renew automatically each year.

The vote came Thursday evening at a standing room only board work session meeting.

Outside the board room, protesters, both against and in support of the superintendent, gathered.

About 50 people who are calling for the board to fire the superintendent held signs and talked to members of the media.  Across the lawn, a smaller group also had signs showing their support of Dr. Wardynski.

Board president David Blair said he approached Wardynski about extending his contract because of all that the district currently has going on, including the district's desegregation court battles and the building of new schools across the city.

"We wanted to be able to have some continuity," Blair said.

The new contract  will extend Wardynski's time as superintendent a year longer than his current, or until the summer of 2017. There is no increase in salary or incentive pay in the proposed contract, Blair said. But the superintendent would be able to change unused vacation time into cash, a benefit most employees in the district are not currently awarded.

Board member Topper Birney held his stance Thursday evening that he, Blair and Jennie Robinson will be off the board at the beginning of November and said he'd prefer to leave the decision to change Wardynski's contract to the incoming members, not "three lame ducks."

"The three lame ducks have a lot of history and understanding," Blair said, adding that the new board members will have a "steep learning curve" when they take office.

The board meeting was the last one for board members Topper Birney, David Blair and Jennie Robinson. Their replacements, Walker McGinnis, Beth Wilder and Elisa Ferrell, take office Nov. 3.

(Our news partners at AL.com/The Huntsville Times contributed information to this report) 

10 comments

  • Kari

    Get someone who turns the financial state of Huntsville schools totally around, gets rid of the riff raff…. makes teachers more accountable to provide a day’s work for a day’s pay…. Yeah…. Fire him…. go back to being in debt with substandard conditions, with substandard education, and teachers and staff who aren’t accountable… we had nepotism, we had one teacher who insisted on being out for the first two weeks of school, we had people putting money into their own agendas, … we’ve had all kinds of problems this man has cleared up. Sure not everyone is going to be pleased; especially those who were taking advantage of the free for all. So this man has insisted that these people who live off the taxpayer’s dime, be accountable…. Whoooaaaa… what a concept. Yep… let’s just go back to the way we were…. I think I’m going to be sick.

    • Kevin

      I couldn’t agree more! Wardynski has done a great job and has put us in Good financial status. He just doesn’t feel the need to kiss butts. He calls it like he sees it. Since he has arrived we have seen a boom in new schools being built and we are moving our children’s education into the 21st Century. He is working hard to get us out from under Federal oversight. We don’t need some Federal Judge telling us what is best for our Children. We have some of the best educated professionals in the U.S. living in Huntsville, we know what is best, not the U.S. Dept. of Justice or Education. I for one am proud of the job he has done.

  • Ray

    It would be irresponsible to get rid of Dr Wardynski. The guy set goals to accomplish prior to even taking office and achieved them and others set by the board in record time He brought the system out of debt and has got school construction going in record time. He got the system 100% digitally converted in 1 yr which is unheard of in the US for a system this large. He is not a local good ole boy who has been here forever. He came in and has accomplished what he has set out to do. Who in their right mind would try to get rid of someone that is accomplishing what others could not do? People get their feathers ruffled by his no nonsense way but he gets things done… Just what do people want? We have got a great deal with Dr Wardynski being here with his level of expertise that he has demonstrated by getting this system out of financial ruin into the black. I dont know what kinds of standards people are expecting but we have a very high standards superintendant that I am presonally proud that we have running our school system. Keep up the great work Dr Wardynski!

  • Harry Martin

    YES! Keep the man and give him a raise! He has brought respect to that office, as well as getting rid of the debt and cutting costs! Yes, give him a GOOD raise!

  • Cornell

    When is Huntsville City Schools going to release their average ACT score? Every other school district has made this information public. Let us see the numbers and accountability.

  • True American

    Great Job!! Keep up the Great work Dr. Wardynski! Send the “Lib” teachers packing! If they don’t “Produce” academically, terminate them! I hope you stay on for Many more years!

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