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Sherman dismisses school superintendent

The Sherman County school board dismissed its interim district Superintendent Dr. Brian Metke on Nov. 20. A statement to the press last week said the board of directors had “unanimously voted to terminate [his] contract without cause.”

After serving as the superintendent for the Glendale school district in Douglas County for nine years, Metke came to Sherman County to act as the “interim” superintendent. He was slated to occupy the position for the 2013-2014 academic year only.

However, after a little more than three months, the same school board that selected him has decided that it was “in the best interests of the district to let him go and move on,” said Bill Martin, chair of the Sherman County School Board.

“It became apparent that we just weren’t going in the same direction,” Martin said in a phone interview Wednesday. “He just wasn’t the right fit for our district, and although we [as a board] tried very hard to come to a point of reconciliation, we ultimately decided we needed to let him go.”

According to Martin, it was “more than just a difference of opinions” that led to Metke’s release. The conflict was unable to be resolved to the board’s satisfaction, which led to the former superintendent’s dismissal.

By terminating Metke’s contract without cause, the board was not required to provide a reason for his premature removal. However, the contract also contains a provision requiring the district to pay Metke six months’ worth of base salary immediately upon his termination, which amounted to a little over $49,000.

When asked what steps the board is taking to find Metke’s replacement, Martin said they “are seeking superintendent support services from North Central ESD, which we will be using on a short-term basis to manage the transition while we look into all the other options with which we can finish out the year.”

However, Martin said, the Sherman County school board “will begin searching for another superintendent for the 2014-2015 academic year this January,” who they intend to serve as a permanent replacement for the district position.

Metke could not be reached for comment.

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