Leader shuffle in the schools

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BELOIT - The School District of Beloit Board of Education voted unanimously to approve Interim Superintendent Donald Childs' resignation and to appoint Director of Bilingual Programming Tony Bosco as interim superintendent until June 30.

The district's newly-hired superintendent, Dr. Stanley Munro, is scheduled to begin his contract in July.

According to a source familiar with the circumstances but who asked not to be identified, Childs had begun tell staff on Tuesday that he would be leaving as of Friday at the request of the board.

When contacted by the Beloit Daily News, board President Pam Charles issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon:

"We reached a mutual agreement with Interim Superintendent Donald Childs for his resignation effective April 12, 2019. The Board felt it was important to begin the process of transitioning to a new Superintendent, Dr. Stanley Munro. This transition allows the Board to begin a transition to new leadership in a timely manner. The Board thanks Dr. Childs for his leadership."

The school board subsequently met Tuesday night and voted unanimously to accept Childs' resignation.

All board members voted in favor of putting Bosco in the position with the exception of Vice President David Wilson, according to information from Treasurer Kyle Larsen in an interview after the meeting.

The Beloit Daily News attempted to contact Childs for an in-person interview at school offices Tuesday, but his secretaries said he did not want to meet. Childs instructed staff to tell the newspaper "no comment" and has not responded to further calls.

The Beloit Daily News has not received a response to questions related to financial arrangements for Childs' departure. The newspaper will be submitting a legal request under the Wisconsin Public Records law for details of the separation.

Munro is scheduled to begin July 1. The original plan was for Childs to remain with the district through July. Munro was offered a two-year contract with an annual salary of $200,000.

The School District of Beloit has been without a permanent superintendent since Tom Johnson resigned. Johnson resigned at the end of his contract, June 30, 2018, but had been absent from the district since Nov. 2, 2017 due to medical reasons.

Assistant Superintendent Darrell Williams served as interim superintendent until Childs was put in the position in July 2018. Prior to Childs being hired, some residents had protested Williams being taken out of the position at a board meeting. Prior to the board voting to offer a contract to Childs, the Beloit Branch of the NAACP and Beloit Concerned Citizens for Fairness also called on the board to cease its search for an outside interim superintendent and instead focus on fixing its internal dysfunction at a press event July 17. Those at the press conference said there was no good reason to remove Williams because he had done a good job according to his evaluations.

On Tuesday night's board agenda, there also was an item related to administrative vacancy recommendations. A source familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified told the newspaper there is consideration of moving Williams out of the administrative center to a position at Fruzen Intermediate School.

When Charles was asked if Williams is being recommended for transfer she did not say, but issued the following statement:

"Administration has been working to find the best person for the role of assistant principal. A school the size of Fruzen cannot go long without an assistant principal, especially at this time of year, when there are so many administrative duties, such as teacher evaluations, to complete."

Prior to his interim superintendency in Beloit, Childs served as superintendent of Lake Mills Area School District for 12 years and the remaining years in interim superintendent roles.

Childs' replacement, Bosco, was the subject of an internal investigation and received discipline for an incident in 2013, involving conduct during an educational conference while he was principal at McNeel Middle School. Former human resources director Todd Cabelka wrote that Bosco more than likely engaged in unwanted physical contact with a teacher and directed Bosco to have an evaluation for alcohol dependency. He was then suspended from employment for one day without pay - provided he undergo alcohol evaluation - at the discretion of then-superintendent Steve McNeal. Bosco continued as principal until June 30, 2017, when he was promoted to become the Director of Bilingual and English Language Learning programming with a start date of July 1, 2017.

Charles issued the following statement regarding Bosco after being asked if the board was aware of the 2013 incident or had any concerns:

"Tony Bosco has proven his leadership abilities and the board is confident that he is the right person to assist in this important process of transition. We appreciate Mr. Bosco's willingness to step up. He will have the full support of the board as we move forward."

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