Russell County superintendent could lose job

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

SEALE, AL (WTVM) - An area superintendent's contract is up in the air as the end of her term draws nearer. News Leader Nine was the only media at Tuesday morning's Board of Education meeting as they sat down to discuss the renewal of Superintendent Dr. Yvette Richardson's contract.

In a four to two vote, board members decided not to renew Richardson's contract, which requires a year notice before its expiration.

Russell County Board of Education President Keith Mitchell said, "I would not have made this decision today had it not been in her contract to make me have to make it by June 30th."

Board members say they don't want to get rid of Richardson, they just want this existing contract changed. "That does not mean at a later date negotiations might be opened up to look at a different contract," added Mitchell.

After the vote, many parents and teachers were left with a bitter taste in their mouths.

Retired teacher, Dyanne Hood told News Leader Nine, "What is wrong with the Russell County Board of Education? Citizens need to speak up."

Another recently retired teacher, Shirley Smith, added, "My concern is that you have the President of the Russell County school board disagreeing with a policy or contract that the board wrote."

Some parents thought board members had hidden motives to get rid of Dr. Richardson but some, like Charles Hollowell, think other factors play in to the decision, "I'm concerned that perceptions coming into this meeting were racial components. We can't allow racial components to be part of this decision-making."

Concerned citizen, Eugenia Upshaw agreed, "In and out of superintendents and it seems to be based on racial lines and that is so inappropriate. We need to get together and work together."

Dr. Richardson still serves as the superintendent until the end of June 2010. Her next move has yet to be decided.