Russell County School Board Says No To Superintendent Contract Renewal

By Chauncy Glover - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - "What is wrong with the Russell County Board of Education?" says one Dyanne Hood.

Parents are outraged.

"The meeting was hastily arranged and the decision rendered was heavy handed and premature," says Charles Hollowell.

It was a four to two vote that decided the fate of Russell County School Superintendent, Dr. Yevtte Richardson.

The board voted not to renew her contract after it ends in June of 2010.

We spoke by phone with one of the board members who voted NO to renewing Richardson's contract.

"I voted no because she has met with the performance level that I expect out of a superintendent. Number one, she has no had any communication with the board," says board member, Larry Laney.

"I didn't vote for the contract the first time. I had some concerns with her not living here," added Charles Johnson.

The school board president says there were just some things in Richardson's contract that needed to be changed.

Meanwhile, some parents say the board had hidden motives, and believe the vote was racially charged.

"When she came in, it was a four to three vote, but at that time the make-up of the board was four blacks and three whites. Today it was a four to two vote. It was four whites and two blacks," says Shirley Smith.

"We need to have some continuity for once in this school system. I think before we make a decision to not renew her contract for someone who has proven to be credible and competent, I think we need to deliberate this issue more carefully," added Hollowell.

And as for Richardson, she spoke with us exclusively, saying she's focused on her job and respects the decision that has been made.

"I feel they have voted their conviction and beyond that I have remained professional. I always tried my best, because I realize your reputation precedes you. People have their own opinions. I feel my work has spoken. My evaluation was positive," says Richardson.