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PTISD trustees vote 5-2 for new VP, keep Peck

The School Yard

POSTED: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 12:03am

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 5:06pm

On Monday, November 4, the Pine Tree Independent School District Board of Trustees held a Special Meeting concerning the evaluation for Superintendent, Dr. T.J. Farler.

The meeting was originally scheduled for October, but had to be pushed back due to multiple meetings being called regarding former Athletic Director and head football coach, Derek Fitzhenry.

This meeting comes after KETK was exclusively given an audio recording of board president Charley Peck, Fitzhenry and "Move Pine Tree Forward" political action committee members Ron Hutchison and Chris Jones, holding a private meeting for football coaches thanking them for their support of Fitzheny and the meeting ultimately ended up bashing Dr. Farler, including calling her "stupid."

Peck is recorded saying , "These kids have no reason to get up to behave in the classroom or make their grades, except to get on the field, if that's what it takes that's fine."

You can also hear Hutchison saying the following:

"You know, If I was running things, I'd say it different, but since the president of the school board is here (laughs). We've had a great deal of distraction over the last couple of weeks and you guys know, great competitors overcome great obstacles, and this can really be a fairytale story that we see here. But, I'm going to chalk everything up to the superintendent as being unprofessional and inexperienced as a new superintendent and if she ever does anything like this again (Fitzhenry's suspension), she's none of those things, she's just stupid. And you don't have to clap."

Hutchison and Jones were in attendance at the meeting and stood at the back before taking a seat in the crowd.

Ron Hutchison in attendance at PTISD meeting.

That topic of reorganization was item No. 7 on the November 11 regularly scheduled school board meeting.

Board member Kerri Daugbjerg brought the topic to the public around 6:25 p.m., saying the board president's clarity can become foggy when they are being influenced by political sources. She said she is willing to stand up and say what she believes in, even if it may not be the most popular choice, and what do what should be done.

"The number one goal for the children is an education and I will be held accountable, as a board member, when calling for change is what is best for the students at Pine Tree," said Daugbjerg

Terre Dunn, vice-president of the board, spoke out and said she also was in support of reorganization of the board and told Peck he gave many reasons why he should be board president when he first became president and she feels like it's on the best interest of the district, the board and the community for them to take a hard look at him.

Dunn said she has received many calls that should be directed toward Peck and she feels Peck's judgment is clouded, as well.

The board voted six to one to reorganize the board and to elect a new president of the trustees.

Dunn, then, nominated Daugbjerg to be the new board president. After not receiving a majority of the votes, Cynthia Hellen said Peck could not have handled the job he has as board president any better. 

Hellen said she supports him and believes he kept all his personal feelings out of the Fitzhnery ordeal and asked if he was aware the meeting was being recorded that he had attended after Fitzhnery was reinstated. She defended Peck's constitutional rights by saying he can say whatever he wants to, whenever he wants to.

Craig Meek also defended Peck saying he was the legal guardian of Robert Hines and was a beacon for trying to help underprivileged kids. Hines was one of three arrested for having marijuana on school grounds back in June and is now in DAEP. He did however play the first few games of the season prior to KETK breaking the story he was involved in an on-campus drug incident.

The board eventually voted to keep Peck is his current position and voted Dunn out of her vice-president seat, which Peck nominated Hellen for.

Daugbjerg spoke on behalf of Dunn saying Farler calls her, regularly, to discuss to school matters, to which Peck looked shocked.

Hellen was voted in five to two as the new vice-president after Meek spoke on her behalf. Meek initally stated he didn't want reorganization of the board, yet made a nomination, anyway.

Secretary, Pat Noon, kept his position as secretary.



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