Wenatchee school board members want to delay hiring superintendent

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Continuing friction among Wenatchee School Board members is apparently causing problems in the search for a new Superintendent.

Two board members are seeking a delay in the hiring while the board works to, in their words, “stabilize” and members “can collectively work together” on the hiring process. They suggest an interim superintendent be appointed while issues are worked out. The board is scheduled to interview four firms Monday before selecting one to conduct a search for a new superintendent.

Brian Flones announced earlier this year he was retiring from the post. Board members Laura Jaecks and Walter Newman signed a letter calling for the delay, alleging other board members have “overstepped their bounds” and had inappropriate communications regarding district matters.  Jaecks read the letter at the board’s meeting this week.

Citing public records obtained by High School teacher, Brian Higgins, the letter alleges board president Michele Sandberg used her personal email account to communicate with another board member and members of the public about district business. It revives concerns raised by Jaecks in April about Sandberg and other board members allegedly violating board policies.

Sandberg, Sunny Hemphill and Sarah Knox were elected to the five-member board last year and almost immediately amended a board policy that prevented newly elected members from being appointed board officers. The three then appointed Sandberg as president and Knox as vice president, which Jaecks and Newman opposed. In his email to the board, Higgins cited board email exchanges on private accounts as cause for concern about “a perceived lack of transparency.”