Suspended

School Board votes unanimously to suspend Superintendent Scott Mader

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In a special meeting last week, the Hayden School Board suspended Superintendent Scott Mader and rescinded a new contract that may have secured his position in the district into 2006.

On June 22, the board unanimously voted to suspend Mader with pay and benefits pending "investigation and review by legal counsel of matters relating to his employment," according to the meeting minutes.

School Board President Kurt Frentress declined to comment on the reasons for the board's decision.

"Since it's personnel, we really can't go into the reasons why he was suspended," Frentress said Monday.

The motion stipulated that Mader's suspension would continue at least until the board receives a report from district lawyers regarding the investigation.

Hayden Valley Elementary School Principal Mike Luppes was named acting superintendent.

Mader has been with the district since 1998 and has a salary of $86,064 a year, according to his current contract, which began July 1, 2003, and runs through June 30, 2005.

The board voted to void a new contract they approved in April that would have ensured Mader's position for the 2004-05 school year with a buy-out offer for the 2005-06 school year. Mader never signed the contract, Frentress said.

Mader declined to discuss the board's decision Friday and did not return phone calls Monday and Tuesday.

"The School Board and I are in discussions about my continued employment status, and it is not appropriate for me to comment at this point," he said last week.

Despite Mader's suspension, the district is moving ahead with the process to hire a new high school principal to replace Nick Schafer, who resigned in May.

Parents, students and interested residents will have the opportunity to meet the five candidates for the position at a series of public forums this week and next week.

A committee made up of Luppes, two board members, two teachers, two students and two parents chose the candidates from among 14 applicants. The committee will conduct formal interviews with the candidates, who have asked their names and area of residence be kept confidential until the public forums, Luppes said.

The forums are scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Thursday, 9:45 a.m. and -- tentatively -- 11 a.m. July 7 and 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. July 8. The forums will be about an hour long, and participants will be able to write down questions for the candidates.

The meetings are planned for the High School auditorium, though that may change because of ongoing construction at the school, Luppes said. Call the district office to verify times and location at 276-3864.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com.

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