Bethel votes on admin contracts

By Cecilia Fox -

BETHEL TWP. — At a meeting Monday night, the Bethel school board approved two administrator contracts with amended terms. A third contract for the special education director failed to pass after a tie vote.

The board reduced the proposed four-year contract for Elementary School Principal Jodi Petty to three years and the three-year contract for Assistant Elementary School Principal Mary Roll to two years. Both contracts were approved.

A contract for Special Education Director Suzanne Batten, amended from three years to one, failed to pass after a split vote.

Board member Julie Reese proposed the changes in contract length because the district will be hiring a new superintendent beginning next school year.

Fellow board member Todd Wright said that the outgoing superintendent, Ginny Potter, should be allowed to recommend contract lengths, comparing it to U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell blocking President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee at the end of Obama’s term in office.

Jacob King, board president, spoke highly of the administrators. He voted to change the contract lengths for Petty and Roll.

“A typical administrator that’s been doing a great job for your school is at a three-year contract. But I think one of the key things that’s come into play for our district is change,” he said.

Danny Elam said he preferred staggered contracts that would not end at the same time.

Board member Lori Sebastian was absent from the meeting.

At their March 11 meeting, the board tabled contracts for Petty, Roll and Batten amid discussions of whether it would be more appropriate to offer the administrators shorter contracts and give the next superintendent an opportunity to make personnel changes sooner if needed.

Potter said at that time that the board’s policy states that administrative contracts may be three to five years long. She praised all three administrators for their service to the district.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at