News and Tribune

January 8, 2013

Greater Clark cancels contract of Charlestown teacher facing drug charges

Board officers retain positions at first meeting of the year


JEFFERSONVILLE — The contract of a Charlestown Middle School teacher was canceled at the Greater Clark County Schools board of trustees meeting Tuesday after he was charged last week with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia on school property, as well as other drug-related charges.

Kevin Hennegan, 56 of Jeffersonville, was arrested Dec. 21 at the school after police found smoking paraphernalia, marijuana and $13,000 in cash in his classroom. 

A press release from the district says CMS Principal Karen Wesely issued her preliminary decision to cancel Hennegan’s contract Jan. 2. Hennegan filed a resignation letter with the district the following day.

In the release, Greater Clark superintendent Andrew Melin said he was left with little choice but to recommend the cancellation of Hennegan’s contract.

“I never like to be put in a position to have to recommend that a school employee’s employment be terminated,” Melin said. “But, in this situation, it was the right decision.”

The board voted unanimously to cancel the contract along with the rest of its consent agenda — several routine items voted on simultaneously.

Hennegan was a social studies teacher who had been with the district since 1990. He faces a class D felony with a charge of maintaining a common nuisance and two class A misdemeanors of possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. His next court date in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 has not been set.


New board

The board also welcomed two new members, confirmed board officers and made committee assignments at Tuesday’s meeting.

Teresa Bottorff-Perkins and Tony Hall took their new seats at the boardroom table to represent districts 7 and 2, respectively. Christina Gilkey and Jerry White retained their seats in November’s election and were sworn in for their new terms at Tuesday’s meeting.

But the board’s leadership stayed the same, as officers from last year’s board retained their seats with unanimous approval from the members. Gilkey is still the board president, Kevin Satterly is the secretary and Mark Pavey is the vice president of the board.

The board stayed in step with its common practice of naming the chief financial officer, Thomas Dykiel, as the treasurer and his secretary, Joan Roberts, as the deputy treasurer.


In other business at the meeting

The board unanimously approved the transfer of about $2.68 million into the district’s rainy-day fund.

Dykiel said that brings the fund to about $3.8 million, something he’s more comfortable with than the anticipated $1.2 million.

The measure also authorized the move of $575,837.20 to pay a Social Security bridge fund that Dykiel said had gotten the district into trouble with previous audits.

The board also unanimously approved to raise the hourly rate of substitute bus drivers.

Dykiel said of five Southern Indiana districts — Greater Clark, West Clark Community Schools, New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated Schools, Clarksville Community Schools and Madison Consolidated Schools — Greater Clark paid the least for substitute drivers at $8 per hour.

Dykiel suggested compensation raise to $13 an hour to make finding substitute drivers a little easier. He said as it stands, mechanics and even transportation administrators had to stand in as drivers because of the lack of substitutes.

The measure puts Greater Clark squarely in the middle of the pay scale of the five districts.