A special meeting was called by the Rangely school board last Thursday to announce the resignation of its superintendent and to reinstate its junior/senior high school principal.
By bobby firstname.lastname@example.orgRANGELY I A special meeting was called by the Rangely school board last Thursday to announce the resignation of its superintendent and to reinstate its junior/senior high school principal.Dr. Barry Williams, who had been the superintendent of Rangely schools since 2009, resigned March 22.Rangely school board president Adair Norman read a prepared statement to a large crowd gathered in the gymnasium of the administration building.“Dr. Williams has resigned for personal reasons and will be under contract for the rest of the year, however much of his work may take place outside his office,” read Norman. “We regret having to accept his resignation but do so out of respect. He has put the district on a path to increased student achievement and it will not only be hard to replace him but it will be hard to start over. We will utilize his skills and work ethic as much as we can over these next few months and will miss him when he is gone. With acceptance of Dr. Williams’ resignation the district will start the search for a new superintendent immediately. We are still sorting out the details and will need the support of the community in this process. We encourage your involvement and anticipate contacting some of you to help make this process a success.”The school board appointed Mary Lansing assistant superintendent during the transition. Lansing is the principal at Parkview Elementary School and will continue as such.Williams’ resignation came one day after junior/senior high school principal Berry Swenson was placed on administrative leave.Norman said it was Williams’ decision to place Swenson on paid administrative leave and his decision was supported by the board. Norman acknowledged receipt of a petition signed by more than 170 students asking for Swenson’s reinstatement. Several people in attendance cheered when Norman announced Swenson’s suspension would be “lifted” Monday, March 28.Norman said he could not discuss the details of the suspension but did say, “What I can tell you about the situation is that was not about petty personal differences.”After Norman read the prepared statement, he and board members Donna Petersburg, Lisa Piering, Matt Scoggins and Rebecca Rector made statements to dispel any rumors. All said they would miss Dr. Williams.Williams was not in attendance but sent the following email after a phone conversation.“I have to leave Rangely, Colo., for personal reasons. My wife travels Douglas Pass every day to work as an assistant principal at Bookcliff Middle School. The travel time is three hours per day. She has wrecked a few times but never received anything more than a couple of bruises and a bent-up fender. The pursuit of opportunities where my wife and I can reduce travel time and enjoy more family time together is our goal. I have applied for several positions as superintendent over the past year in hopes that my wife and I will have positions in close proximity to another.“I have resigned effective June 30, 2011, which will fulfill my contractual obligations. I came to Rangely because of the small town living I experienced as a little boy growing up in Virginia. I was hoping we could make an impact with the school, parents and community and I think we did. I will do all I can to mantle the responsibility of navigating a superintendent search to find the right person for the position. Every citizen who lives in Rangely has touched my heart and taught me so many things (especially the students). I honestly and sincerely appreciate each and every person who works hard to make this small high plains desert community a “great place to live.”