By Doug Stearns
Mark C. Jones
W. Edward White
Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Clarke Community School Superintendent Ned Cox’s “voluntary retirement” is anything but.
Mr. Cox has a contract with the district that runs until July 2014. This “voluntary retirement” becomes effective on Dec. 31, 2012, right in the middle of the current school year. Most everyone who knows Mr. Cox recognizes he has the integrity and conviction to fulfill his contract. This retirement is the culmination of the CCSD Board of Education’s quest to get rid of Superintendent Cox.
The working relationship between Superintendent Cox and the school board deteriorated after the 2011 school-board election. This resulted in an unsolicited early retirement offer from the board to Superintendent Cox. Makes you wonder what would have happened had Mr. Cox not accepted this offer.
Keep in mind that Mr. Cox is not the only Clarke employee casualty at the hands of this school board. Long-time school attorney Jeff Krausman was terminated in March 2012 because board President Gerard Linskens had “conflict of interest concerns.” Other coaches, including Jim Smith, were targeted by this board.
As superintendent, Mr. Cox’s priority has always been to give the kids of CCSD the best education possible and provide strong leadership. He has led this school district through tough economic times. For example, a few years ago, the state of Iowa cut our school funding $600,000 after the school’s budget had been certified with the state. With Mr. Cox’s guidance, we successfully got through that year. That same year, Mr. Cox voluntarily requested no pay raise for himself — something that may have gone virtually unnoticed by the majority of district patrons.
Ned Cox hasn’t changed, so what has? His job has become increasingly difficult because current school-board members are micro-managing the school district in an unprecedented way.
We, the undersigned, are past Clarke Community School Board members who worked with Superintendent Cox. We have always felt that he was one of the best in the state. In time, most in the community will realize this also. He deserved better.
After all, there is more to running a school district than winning football games.