Bristol School Board extends contract offer to school administrator, business manager

The Bristol School Board unanimously voted to extend contract offers to a business manager and a school administrator at Monday’s board meeting.

The action was the last to be taken by members of the outgoing board. In the April 2 election three newcomers and one incumbent were elected to the five-member board. The new board will take over at the next board meeting.

Both votes were unanimous and took place in open session after a closed session.

The business manager will replace Judy Dabbs, who is retiring.

The school administrator will fill a “principal role,” district administrator Michael Juech said to westofthei.com via email in answer to a question about the position.

Longtime Principal Jeff Terry did not return this school year from a leave. Tom Whitford was introduced as the interim principal at a Jan. 9 board meeting.

Outgoing board President Andrew Boncher said Monday the board was not going to disclose who the selected candidates were until they had a chance to react to the contract offers out of respect for the candidates. No details of the contract such as compensation were disclosed. Boncher expected an announcement to be available by the end of the week.

Members of the outgoing board defended the decision to vote on filling these postions in their last meeting. Several pointed out that the process has been sufficient to identify the best candidates and was not a snap decision.

“I’m a fact gatherer,” said Boncher, who will not be returning to the board next month.

Board member Doug O’Reilly, appointed to fill a vacancy in January and who did not run for re-election, said the business manager hire was time sensitive to act on a highly qualified candidate and give that person time to work along side Dabbs before she leaves the district.

“I feel very confident,” O’Reilly said. “It wasn’t taken lightly.”

Board member Justin Miller, who was re-elected to a board seat on April 2, said he heard from many individuals about the positions.

“I think we made a decision based on what was best for the district,” Miller said.

Board member Melissa Heirford also defended the timing of the decision, saying it was not too brief.

“This was hours of discussion to try to decide what was best for Bristol School,” Heriford said.

None of the new incoming board members chose to directly criticize the timing of the contract offers when contacted by westofthei.com.

“I look forward to serving the community and am excited to move Bristol forward,” said Lauren Woolard.

“I will continue to advocate for students, teachers, staff and our community,” said Stephanie Buttenhoff.

Sue Kratowicz did not return a respond to a request for comment sent via email.

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