BEDFORD — North Lawrence Community Schools will spend $325,000 to buy out the contract of Superintendent Gary Conner.
In addition to the buyout, NLCS will pay Conner’s health insurance premiums until April, at which time he will be eligible for Medicare, according to details of the agreement provided to the Times-Mail.
The NLCS school board voted 4-1 Jan. 17 to cancel Conner’s contract.
His contract was to run through June 30, 2022, after board members voted in December to extend his contract.
From the December meeting to the January meeting, the membership of the school board changed with three new members elected in November joining the board.
At the January meeting, board President Trent Todd read a statement on behalf of the board that read, in part:
“We appreciate Mr. Conner’s service to the community. He always put others first. Education has been his life. His early departure is not related to any disciplinary action.”
Board members voting to cancel Conner’s contract were Todd, Rusty Garrison, Dr. Kamal Girgis and Jeremy Gilbert. Board member Larry Arnold voted against. Two board members, Kirsten Collier and Scott Gillespie, were not at the meeting.
After the meeting, Arnold said he was “absolutely satisfied” with Conner’s leadership and thought this to be the wrong time to make a change.
“It’s no secret I’m not pleased with this. He was a great leader. You may not have liked his decisions, but he was transparent,” Arnold said. “If you needed support, he was there. He was so engaged with helping everyone else out, he spent more time supporting others than solidifying his position.”
Conner’s last day as superintendent is Feb. 15. He was named superintendent in 2013 and previously served as assistant superintendent from 2004-2013. His career with NLCS began in 1976 when he was hired as a math teacher at Bedford North Lawrence High School. His career also included serving as assistant principal and principal of BNL.