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Oswego School Board Members Dissatisfied with Process to Select New Superintendent

Apr 12, 2016 07:11AM ● By Steven Jack

Board members Lauri Doyle (left) and Jared Ploger voted to not approve the contract of superintendent John Sparlin Monday night.

Two members of the Oswego District 308 School Board voted not to approve the two-year contract of new Superintendent John Sparlin late Monday night. 

Board members Jared Ploger and Lauri Doyle both said they were not satisfied with the process that was used to pick the successor to Superintendent Matthew Wendt, who is leaving the district at the end of June. Sparlin was approved in a 5-2 vote. 

"I believe that we should have made every effort to be as thorough as possible when choosing the next superintendent," Doyle said in a statement. "Our community deserves to have their school board dedicated to finding the best candidate using a traditional process and committed to community input."

During the application window in February, the district received about 15 resumes. The board went on to interview three of those candidates in a special closed board meeting on March 9.  The process did not include any formal public input, and Sparlin was announced as the next superintendent April 4.

Board President Matt Bauman previously stated: “We knew that what the board wanted and what people in the community wanted was somebody local. ... The community has been pretty vocal on what they’re looking for and what they’re not looking for. They haven’t been shy."

Members of the Oswego Education Association Teachers Union also completed a survey outlining their thoughts on Wendt’s successor, Bauman said.

Ploger said his no vote was based largely on campaign promises he made when running for the board last year. 

"When I ran for the BOE there were certain aspects of restoring trust that I ran on that are contradictory to the process we took.  Therefore, I had no choice but to vote no," Ploger said.

While Doyle and Ploger cast no votes, both said they plan to give Sparlin their full support. 

"For those who voted for me, you did so with the idea that I would do what was best for kids," Ploger said. "For that reason, I hope you join me in working with Dr. Sparlin.  "His success means success for our children."

Doyle agreed. 

"Now, that the vote is complete, Dr. Sparlin is our next superintendent, and I will wholeheartedly support him in his new role and hope for his success and for the success of our students," she said.

Sparlin will receive a $200,000 salary in his contract's first year and $205,000 in 2017-18. He will also receive a possible $10,000 in annuity payments over the course of the two years.