, 2014


School board votes 3-2 to terminate
its relationship with superintendent

by Audrey Thomasson

PITMAN’S CORNER—The Lancaster school board on Monday terminated its relationship with school superintendent Dr. Daniel Lukich and immediately selected Sandy Spears, former principal at Lancaster High and Middle schools, as interim superintendent. Spears started work Tuesday.

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Lukich attended the special session Monday night, but left when the board went into closed session to discuss personnel. When members reopened the meeting to the public, District 1 member Bob Smart made a motion to “terminate the services of Dr. Lukich.”

District 4 member Patrick McCranie seconded the motion which passed on a 3-2 roll call vote. Serving in his first meeting on the school board, District 5 member Dr. Robert Westbrook, McCranie and Smart voted in favor of the motion. Opposing the motion were District 1 member Ella Davis and District 3 member Don McCann.

McCranie made a motion to hire Spears as interim superintendent. Smart amended the motion to include “pending approval of funds to the administration category.”

“Has Spears been offered a contract?” McCann asked.

“D. Patrick Lacey (the board attorney) emailed one to her,” Smart replied.

When McCann expressed concern about how they would pay her, Smart noted part of the funding would come from another position vacated in the central office.

“Hiring Spears would be dependent on the board of supervisors” making some funding changes, said Westbrook. “I plan to contact the board of supervisors after this meeting and ask for a special session to discuss the issue.”

The vote for Spears again split 3-2 with Davis and McCann opposed.

Ironically, Lukich served as chairman of the meeting until officers were selected for the new year. Smart nominated Westbrook as chairman, which was seconded by McCranie. Davis nominated McCann, which failed for lack of a second. Westbrook won, 3-2, with Davis and McCann opposed.

McCranie then nominated Smart as vice chairman which was seconded by Westbrook. McCann nominated Davis, which failed for lack of a second. Smart won, 3-2, with Davis and McCann opposed.

Some 20 citizens and school employees attended the 45-minute meeting at the school board office.

Following a number of controversies in the school system, former school board chairman Alex Fleet announced in September that the superintendent’s contract would not be renewed when it expired on June 30, 2014. The process to find a permanent replacement is about to begin.


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