CLEAR FORK VALLEY – The Clear Fork Valley Board of Education, in a 6 a..m. special meeting Monday, accepted the resignation of board president Kyle Beveridge.
The action was taken in a sometimes rambling and contentious meeting in the media room in the Clear Fork High School.
Beveridge, who was elected to the board in November of 2017, drafted a resignation resolution Friday. He spoke before and after the vote was taken, asking questions of board members and school superintendent Janice Wyckoff.
He said he: “feels I was set up.”
He spoke about events at a special board meeting last week, where he said he wasn’t given time to speak.
Butler mayor Joe Stallard read a statement at that meeting, and it was critical of Beveridge.
During the meeting, Beveridge said he saw a police officer in a “little room to the right, kind of hidden.”
The officer had his hand on his holster, Beveridge said.
The special meeting had been called with Butler officials because of a proposed wastewater treatment plant. The school board is working with the village on aspects of that plant because the original plans called for the school board to hook into lines to that new facility.
Beveridge asked Wyckoff how many times people “defended me in public meetings.”
Wyckoff said she had been “caught off guard” and apologized to Beveridge.
“There I am in a public meeting with a police officer behind me,” said Beveridge.
He said he could lose licenses, and his career, from the way things were handled at that meeting.
Beveridge owns ESB Investments Inc.
“It really smells,” said Beveridge, of recent activities.
Board member Carl Gonzalez was absent from the meeting.
Beveridge said he would have liked to ask him questions, and referred to unions within the school, and whether Gonzalez was a union member. Gonzalez had worked for United Parcel Service.
He asked how many school employees live locally, and whether they pay taxes to the district.
School treasurer Bradd Stevens said about one third of the employees live locally.
Stacie White was at the meeting. She is a certified union co-president and middle school math teacher. Beveridge addressed questions to her.
White said she had “worked here 20 years” and wanted to know if she was “either in or out.”
She asked why she should feel she has “no rights.”
She made reference to emails and text messages.
Beveridge said there had been two phone calls and two text messages involved.
Brian McCartney, of K.E. McCartney was mentioned and reference was made to putting sports before education.
Beveridge asked board member Amy Weekley: “What happened Wednesday?”
Both said the other had called.
Weekley said she thought she was trying to calm Beveridge down.
Questions from Beveridge continued.
Weekly said: “I’m not doing this.”
Board member Dan Freund said he thought some actions were “harassing.”
Beveridge’s wife was in the room.
She stood and said “everybody has done something unethical” and didn’t like the fact people were questioning the “integrity and character” of her husband.
She left the media room at high school at 6:20 a.m.
Beveridge asked school board member Lori McKee what would happen if she hadn’t been able to “vet” candidates for a job in her position as CFO at North Central State.
McKee said that “depends on what happens.”
Beveridge said he thought “people were protecting their own butts.”
Freund said they were “done talking” and he thought there was “no question you did a good job as board president.”
The board voted unanimously to approve the resignation resolution.
After that was done, Beveridge said he also wanted to make recommendations to whoever will be coming on the board.
He said until negotiations are done with union members, there should be a hiring freeze.
He also said the board should examine the health insurance offered. He said claims have been too high, and the district has been unable to get quotes.
The board needs to put an end to its dealing with Kirsten DiVito, who was terminated as principal at the Bellville elementary school.
It has cost about $135,000 in lawyers’ fees to handle her case, according to Bradd Stevens, school board treasurer.
The board, at its next meeting July 8, could consider applications of anyone interested in being placed on the board.