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Limestone County School Board rescinds contract offered to superintendent’s daughter

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - A unanimous vote Tuesday rescinded the contract offered to a college graduate who was supposed to be the new special education teacher at Johnson Elementary School.

Since the contract was offered to Katie Ikerman, parents questioned the process used to hire her because she's the daughter of Superintendent Tom Sisk.

Earlier this week WHNT News 19 confirmed the board's attorneys advised them to take back the contract because it was a possible violation of the nepotism law.

"The superintendent was not aware of that law," said School Board President Charles Shoulders. "The superintendent should not have been involved in that procedure whatsoever."

The contract was the only thing on the agenda going into Tuesday's meeting.

"I would like to indicate that the intention was for someone else to make a recommendation to the board," said Sisk. "It did not intend for it to come from my office, in fact I stayed out of the process."

Shoulders said he was unaware Ikerman was Sisk's daughter until someone asked him about it.

"The name was not under Sisk it was under Ikerman, Katherine Ikerman," said Shoulders. "I went back to the agenda and found out that was Dr. Sisk's daughter."

Following the vote, the board went into executive session for about an hour to "discuss the reputation" of an unnamed employee.

The Johnson Elementary School special education teaching position is to be reposted Wednesday (6/13). Shoulders says Ikerman is able to reapply.

"We hope she does reapply," he said.

He added they will seek an outsider to help avoid making this mistake again.

"We will select someone to serve over that committee who will do the recommendation, that person will be an independent person who has no involvement whatsoever with the hires," he said.

Shoulders tells us about a year ago the board wrote a letter of reprimand against Sisk, but says he can't recall what the issue was at that time.

Call for Resignation

Few were present at the meeting, but four community members with the Limestone County NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) were there, wanting to see a change in leadership at the board.

"We ask this school board, this seven member school board, to back us and ask for Dr. Sisk's resignation," said Chapter President Wilbert Woodruff. "His leadership skill has proven to be insufficient, it's not what we need within our system."

He listed Tuesday's nepotism concerns, as well as the recent $1.8 million mistake that forced the district to dip into its reserves, in addition to the handling of the now-terminated Tanner High School principal as examples of their problems with Sisk.