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EACS leader to leave when contract expires in 2014

NEW HAVEN – East Allen County Schools Superintendent Karyle Green announced Tuesday she will resign her post when her contract expires June 30, 2014.

Green passed out a letter to each board member, including three newly-elected members attending their first meeting, stating she will not seek an extension of her contract. She will remain superintendent until her contract expires but reserves the right to leave before that time, under conditions stipulated in her contract, she said.

Green is up for an evaluation this month, which the board planned to schedule before the end of the month.

The board approved the resignation in a 6-1 vote. Board member Terry Jo Lightfoot had to leave early and wasn't present for the vote.

The move is a shift from a letter Green sent the board several months ago outlining her achievements in her three years as superintendent.

But Green has also applied for other superintendent jobs around the country. Most recently, she was one of three finalists to lead Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs, Co., before withdrawing herself from consideration in November.

Upon receiving the letter, board discussion turned to concern over appointments, hires and decisions Green will make in her remaining time as superintendent.

"This puts more responsibility on the board," board member Stephen Terry said. "Things have changed radically and the board will step up accordingly."

Board member Bill Hartman reminded members that Green is still employed as the superintendent, with all the duties that come with the position.

Green said her job is to bring the best information to the board.

"I don't make decisions. I make recommendations based on direction from the board," she said.

New member Arden Hoffman encouraged the board not to overreact and was the only member to address Green directly, wishing her luck in the future.

"She's giving us a year-and-a-half notice. I don't think we need to overreact," he said.

Green came to the district in July 2009 after serving in a number of administrative positions, including assistant superintendent, in South Bend Community Schools. She replaced former superintendent Kay Novotony. Before Green's arrival, the EACS board approved a three-year contract with a salary of $140,000 her first year, $143,500 her second year and $147,805 her third. She also receives $900 a month for car allowance and payments into a retirement account that equals 2 percent of her monthly salary.

Since the beginning of her tenure Green has been an agent for change in the district, recommending a redesign plan in 2010 that kept five high schools, created an early-college magnet program at the former Harding High School and closed and consolidated elementary schools. The plan was to address declining enrollment and decreasing revenue.

The board gave a nod of approval of Green's work when it granted Green a two-year extension in 2011, but at that time the board declined to give Green a raise due to the financial state of the district.

"She's done one thing that previous superintendents wanted to do but couldn't get it done and that's to consolidate schools," Board President Neil Reynolds said.

Green said it's difficult for someone to remain anywhere after coming in and making so many changes, but stressed the board was always supportive of her.

"We've improved in so many areas…it's time to pass the reins to someone who can take those improvements to the next level," she said.