In West Plains, two versions of Fred Czerwonka
|By Alonzo Weston, St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Dr. Czerwonka spent 10 years in the
"I'd take him back in a heartbeat,"
Contrast that view with
"I found him very arrogant,"
Those questions began to surface in late March with concerns about stipends paid to administrators. That was followed by the
Dr. Czerwonka issued an apology to the community for the turmoil. It has diverted attention from what he sees as the district's real business, which is kids, he said at a press conference.
"I'm confident I can address these issues that have been raised if given the opportunity, and contrary to rumors circulating, I'm here to stay. Let me repeat that: I'm here to stay," Dr. Czerwonka said in an earlier
Those stories trickled down to
The new certainly didn't surprise
Mrs. Hunter alleged that Dr. Czerwonka made a push to get rid of her after she evicted the assistant superintendent's sister from a rental unit. "Suddenly I was incompetent and inefficient and insubordinate. He came in January with targets to get rid of me," she said.
A subsequent public hearing was held, where some administrators considered Mrs. Hunter incompetent as a teacher. She was eventually terminated.
Mrs. Hunter said Dr. Czerwonka also created administrative positions at a time when teachers' supplies were cut. The district couldn't afford raises for teachers, but Dr. Czerwonka wanted the district to pay for health insurance for administrators and their families. The money was given to them in a lump sum instead.
"At the same time we don't have money for this, but we can buy their families health plans?" Mrs. Hunter said.
"Prior to Fred, we had a school superintendent who, frankly, should be incarcerated. I think our school board knew of some of the things he did and essentially covered them up and waited until his contract was up and let him out," the businessman said.
"I certainly was not an advocate when Fred was here that he needed to go."
"He was extremely good in his job here. I've always known him to be a fiscally responsible person, very smart with money,"
"I think that's what shocked me. When this came out, I asked myself, what was he thinking? You just can't go up and do that. You can't take a quarter of a million dollars and throw it out like Oprah does."
"The thing in St. Joe, I think he meant well, I think he wanted to do the right thing, but I don't think he was thinking clearly at the time,"
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