Yantis Independent School District’s regular board of trustees meeting was fairly normal for May — aside from one major item which leaves the district without a top administrator until Friday afternoon. School trustees voted Monday following an executive session to place Superintendent Michael Barnett “on administrative leave with pay pending further notice,” business manager Kristi Beech said Tuesday, reading from a prepared statement.
The board consulted with attorneys during the executive session, which the meeting agenda specified also called for “deliberations regarding Superintendent in accord with Texas Govt. Code 551.074.” That section of state law allows a governmental body to conduct a closed meeting to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee, or to hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee.
Following the executive session, the school board voted to place Barnett on administrative leave with pay “for the best interest of the school,” according to board member Boyd McCreight, who said attorneys for the district cautioned the board to refrain from further discussion on the matter.
School records show that two grievances against Barnett have been made to the school board by Yantis ISD employees.
At a meeting earlier this month, trustees agreed with a grievance against the superintendent filed by a teacher regarding the manner in which her performance was evaluated and her duties reassigned.
According to the May 5 board minutes posted on the district’s website, the school board “adjourned to executive session at 5:10 p.m. to hear an employee grievance from Cherry Krantz against Michael Barnett.” The board reconvened in open session about 90 minutes later.
“Bo West moved to grant the grievance of Cherry Krantz against Superintendent Michael Barnett and to allow Mr. Oakley and Mr. Bowles to make recommendations concerning her coaching and teaching assignments based on her performance history. Boyd McCreight seconded the motion.”
The board was slated to hear a grievance from Yantis High School Principal Truman Oakley against Superintendent Michael Barnett Monday night during executive session. The matter was tabled Monday, however.
The board is slated to convene Thursday to administer the oath of office to newly elected school trustees.
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