Ketchikan: Delay on contract decision questioned

Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2002

An apparent decision made during an executive session to delay voting on a proposed teacher contract was discussed briefly during Wednesday's Ketchikan School Board meeting.

Board Member Sue Pickrell questioned the delay and suggested postponing the contract vote was meant to benefit "some board members." Board President Earlene Brown said that issue couldn't be discussed because it was a subject at a recent executive session. Pickrell then moved to allow the board to discuss the topic openly. Only she and Board Member Mike Lyshol voted "yes," however, while Brown and members Choc Schafer, Russell Thomas and Richard Van Cleave voted against the motion. Board Member Anna Annicelli was out of town.

Pickrell, who was recalled from the board in spring 2001, said she was removed from office for allegedly violating the Open Meetings Act. She said she continues to deny those charges, but at least what she was accused of was done in public. She was elected to serve again on the board in October.

The board has set a Sept. 20 special meeting to consider approval of a teacher contract.

Also Wednesday, some Point Higgins Elementary School parents complained about large class sizes - 33 for one first grade and 28 for a kindergarten. Superintendent Harry Martin said the district plans to create a split first-second grade class to alleviate the first-grade crowding. He asked parents to be patient while the district seeks a solution for the kindergarten situation.

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