Ashtabula Area City Schools Superintendent shocked by AACS Board decision.
SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP_The Ashtabula Area City School Board voted unanimously against renewing AACS Superintendent Melissa Watson’s contract when it expires at the end of the 2018-19 school year. The decision was made after two executive session meetings regarding “employment”.
AACS Board Member James Brady Sr. instigated the resolution to non-renew, which was passed minutes after the board approved the hiring of a new football coach from Virginia.
Watson has been with the district for one and a half years. Watson made clear that she was not aware that the was board contemplating a decision not to renew her contract. Watson said that the non-renewal would not take effect until the end of her contract in 17 months.
“May I ask a list of reasons for why my (further) employment is not being considered,” Watson said.
Ashtabula Area City School Board President Chris Seuffert responded by saying, “No.”
After the meeting Seuffert said she had no further comment.
The board also passed a resolution stating the superintendent would not be involved in union negotiations for the district and passed a personal services contract to have former AACS Superintendent Joseph Donatone handle negotiations on the district’s behalf and advise the board in other areas if needed.
The board of Seuffert, Brady, Steven Candella, William Niemi and Debra Barrickman, voted unanimously on all of the votes.
At the conclusion of the meeting Watson made a brief statement reaffirming her surprise.
“This is a total and complete shock to me,” Watson said.
“I stand by the things I have done in the district,” Watson said. She said any further comment would come from her attorney.