Bishop Unified School District has a new interim superintendent as of November 4, 2019.
Katie Kolker, who is the principal at Palisade Glacier High School will assume the role of heading up the school district after the board of trustees elected to part ways with ex-superintendent, Jon Ray.
The meeting opened up with public comment from concerned citizens who praised the board for their decision to part ways with Mr. Ray. One individual in the crowd said, “Thank you for making such a difficult decision. I believe parting ways with Mr. Ray is the perfect move to go forward.” The statement was met with thunderous applause from a room filled with about fifty people.
Other talking points included the desire for better input and transparency when selecting a new superintendent.
Also, multiple people in the crowd requested that the board do everything in their power to not hire another person with a similar style to Ray.
After the closed session ended, the board reported that they unanimously approved Mrs. Kolker as the interim superintendent, a move which was also met with applause.
Dr. Taylor Ludwick of the Bishop Unified School Board spoke on Kolker’s approval glowingly. “We are thrilled Katie stepped up to the challenge of leading the school district. She is the perfect person to calm the waters.”
Kolker spoke next remarking, “I appreciate the support from all of you. I will do my best to lead us into a positive direction.”
The Palisade Glacier Principal will be the interim superintendent for the rest of the year.
Although it appeared as though mostly everyone in room approved the appointment of Kolker, there was still concern relating to how much it cost the school district to part ways with Jon Ray.
When the public comment period opened for the second time, two individuals asked the board how much they would have to pay the former BUSD Superintendent. This question was stonewalled by the board, with Dr. Ludwick replying, “The cost of the settlement are in the terms of the agreement.”
The nebulous statement sparked more curiosity among the crowd, with one person pointing out that the money used to pay Mr. Ray was public money, therefore, the board should be transparent and let the public know how money was paid to the previous superintendent.
Board member, Kathy Zack told the attendee, “Our legal council has said that we cannot comment on this matter.”
Another person asked if BUSD will ever disclose the amount paid to Ray, to which the board did not give a clear and definitive answer.