After a series of three board meetings held on June 4, 7 and 11, the Fredonia-Moccasin Unified School District released Superintendent Nicholas Bartlett from his remaining one-year contract on June 11. Bartlett was offered a severance package, in exchange for his letter of resignation.

The letter of resignation came amidst allegations of unprofessional behavior by the superintendent. He responded on June 4 by saying, “I would like to have this agenda item discussed in open session, I have nothing to hide. It does not bother me to discuss it. I am not trying to be controversial, I know what is going to be said is inaccurate and not true. I don’t want this to continue on and on, if it will be addressed I don’t mind it being in open session.”

The board elected to go into executive session, where they consulted legal counsel. The agenda item was tabled at that time due to the fact that the allegations submitted had been made anonymously, so the information was tabled until the June 7 meeting where legal counsel could be present and the allegations could be presented according to district policy.

On June 7, the board discussed a contract resolution pertaining to Bartlett in executive session with the district’s attorney, where it was proposed that in exchange for his letter of resignation, he would be given a severance package of four months’ salary and a positive letter of recommendation. The board voted unanimously to extend this offer to Bartlett.

The board considered a counter offer by Bartlett on June 11, where the terms for separation were discussed in executive session. The board then approved the undisclosed separation agreement, with the exception of Bartlett retaining his work laptop computer and not including additional money to be paid into the superintendent’s Arizona State Retirement account.

Finally, options for an interim superintendent and/or principal were discussed. The board unanimously agreed to request that Joe B. Wright, Fredonia Elementary School principal, act as the interim while an employee search was launched. Board member Marilyn Cox was nominated by the other board members to investigate the process for a superintendent and/or principal search.

Board president Sondra Bistline requested that the public have input in what they would like to see in a new superintendent and scheduled a town hall style meeting on June 13 to allow for the public’s input.