News and Tribune

December 18, 2012

Sexton’s contract will expire in Greater Clark

Melin cites failure to follow directives


JEFFERSONVILLE — Quietly, Greater Clark County Schools’ board of trustees voted to allow Jim Sexton’s contract to expire at the end of the school year at Tuesday’s meeting.

Sexton, the former principal at Jeffersonville High School, was voted out with the personnel agenda — several routine proposals voted on simultaneously — without discussion.

A district-issued statement says superintendent Andrew Melin made the recommendation based on reasons other than differences in management styles.

“Although Mr. Sexton and I may have philosophical differences regarding our leadership styles, my recommendation for non-renewal goes beyond these differences,” Melin said in the statement. “Mr. Sexton’s failure to follow directives issued rises to the level of insubordination and he has demonstrated a lack of professional judgment when dealing with some personnel matters.”

The vote came in 4-2, with board members Becka Christensen and Nancy Kraft opposing, and Ernie Gilbert abstaining.

In a phone interview after the meeting, Sexton said he’s not happy about the board’s decision, but he’s not surprised, either.

“I heard the vote was, as usual, the same four that voted [former superintendent Stephen]  Daeschner out voted me out,” Sexton said. “But I knew it was coming, that’s why I didn’t go to the board meeting, I didn’t want to be embarrassed again. Most of the community already knew what was going to happen.”

Sexton said he thought a plan to remove him from his position at Jeffersonville High School was set in motion long before Tuesday’s meeting.

“It was, in my estimation, pre-planned,” Sexton said. “This was coming a long time ago. I was evaluated in a quick 45-day period as soon as the superintendent arrived. I’ve done this a long time and I know what I’m doing. I haven’t done anything wrong or illegal.”

The district’s statement also says Sexton will have the right to a teaching position in Greater Clark after his contract expires if an open slot fits his qualifications, which are in science and psychology.

Sexton said he would consider taking a position with the district if he’s not offered an administrative job in another corporation.

He also said he thinks Melin made a mistake in more than one way in letting him go.

“If he had decided to keep me around, I might have been able to make him look well enough to keep his own job,” Sexton said. “It’s a very political district and he’s going to need some help.”

See more coverage of Tuesday’s meeting in Thursday’s News and Tribune.