There is some question as to how our interim superintendent was hired. I have been a part of a parent group that has attended school board meetings for five years. After Superintendent Ken Emmil left the district, the board promised a full and open superintendent search.
Typically a full search takes three months and includes the public in the selection process. Colville’s process from posting the position to hiring Mr. Lewis took less than three weeks, or to be exact, 19 days.
Here is the timeline of the hiring including some items that could be considered either shady or down right illegal:
April 7, 2014 Pete Lewis was put on paid leave in Fairbanks, Alaska.
May 15, 2014 Michael Cashion writes resignation letter
May 16, 2014 Michael Dunn from ESD 101 sends Sid Green Pete Lewis’ resume and contact information.
May 16, 2014 Sid Green responds to Michael Dunn saying he went online and read all the information about Pete Lewis.
– Is it proper to research an applicant for a job position before all the applicants have applied?
May 21, 2014 Colville posts a job opening for superintendent stating applications being accepted until June 5th.
– The board is the only entity that can authorize the school to put up the job opening for superintendent. There was no board meeting authorizing this. Where did the administration office get it’s authorization? Was the school board (or an individual school board director) acting outside of their legal protocol?
– At this date, the board has not even accepted Michael Cashion’s resignation.
May 28, 2014 School Board accepts Michael Cashion’s resignation in legal school board meeting.
May 28, 2014 In email correspondence (received through a public records request) Michael Dunn ESD 101 asks Sid Green if he can interview Pete on June 6th
– Sid Green responds he will set it up for June 9th
– Michael Dunn says “Thanks for doing this as quickly as you can”
May 30, 2014 Michael Cashion writes letter to Michael Dunn stating he spoke with Pete Lewis about hiring employees.
– The board has not interviewed any applicants for this position. It is highly irregular for an employee to be discussing any aspect of business with ANY applicants.
June 9, 2014 Colville School Board Meeting to Evaluate the qualifications of one or more applicants for public employment in an executive session.
– The agenda item says “applicants for public employment”, they didn’t even have the decency to let us know they were interviewing superintendent candidates. Why? Usually, it is advertised to the community, so that everyone who wants to be there can come, but we didn’t even know it was for the superintendent position until after we were in the meeting. Was the board trying to keep it from the public?
– We were told by the Teachers Union President who the applicants were, so the teachers knew it was a superintendent interview and who the applicants were, but the public did not. Why?
– The meeting opened, the board announced “We are going into executive session for about three hours to interview three candidates” and then left the room.
– We sat there for three hours waiting for them to come out of their session and when it was over, they told us that Pete Lewis scored best on their worksheet.
– The board has refused to release all the names of the other applicants even to this day.
– The board held all interviews behind closed doors.
– The board held all conversations about all applicants behind closed doors.
– The public has no idea how they came to their decision.
June 9, 2014 Pete Lewis was fired from his position in Fairbanks (see below links for very informative details)
June 11, 2014 Pete Lewis was officially hired in Colville as Interim Superintendent
– Pete Lewis was hired 2 days after he was officially fired from Fairbanks. Does anyone else think this is odd?