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Sharkey out as Cairo-Durham Superintendent

Jun 30, 2011 12:16 am
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="256" caption="Cairo-Durham High School, from website."][/caption]
The Cairo School Board had one item on its agenda Wed. June 29: Superintendent Sally Sharkey's contract. But, during the course of the meeting Board President Greg Koerner-Fox revealed that the board had already voted, on Jan. 17, 2011 in executive session, 5-4, not to renew her contract. The board offered few hints of what the problem was, and only one member of the public spoke against renewing Sharkey's contract at a public hearing during the meeting, and that speaker did not give any specific reasons. Koerner-Fox said it was a personnel matter discussed in executive session, and could not be addressed in public. At one point, Mike Coyne, chairman of the town Democratic Committee and a parent of children in the Cairo schools, began asking Sharkey questions. "I have not been told I did anything wrong," Sharkey said. Eventually the board re-affirmed their 5-4 vote. [Doron Tyler Antrim reports in The Daily Mail that Greg Koerner-Fox, Bob Criswell, Beatrice Clappin, Pat Ublacker and Carl Kohrs voted to oust Sharkey; Susan Kusminsky, Bill Alfeld, Timothy Hunt, and Tom Plank voting to renew her contract.] A barrage of "why" questions from the crowd preceded the vote. "I voted no because people are not happy about what is going on," one board member said. "There don't have to be reasons," another board member said. "The board is the board. We will take our action based on the input we get and our common sense." Coyne then remarked that one of the five voting to remove Sharkey just got voted off the board in the May 17 election and would be replaced next month. In that election, Pat Ublacker of South Cairo finished fourth so will lose her seat after this meeting to newcomer Beth Phillips.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="197" caption="Greg Fox, School Board President, from school website."][/caption]

Koerner-Fox then said that if a new board member came on, "the board could change its mind." So it is possible Sharkey could be hired back by the new board. WGXC's Galen Joseph-Hunter recorded the meeting. Click here to hear a mp3 audio recording to the school board meeting. Link to Cairo-Durham School Board meeting agenda.