Residents question loss of superintendent

SOUTHINGTON – Parents and community members Thursday questioned Southington school board members about their decision last month to not rehire Superintendent John McMahan.

Among the more than 25 residents at the board of education meeting, township resident Jimmy Salman asked where the board will find another like McMahan, who has a doctorate in educational leadership.

”He is a very highly specialized, trained and educated superintendent with three degrees. He is a very hands-on and energetic superintendent who attends all the school and community events and brought many new ideas to the district,” said Salman.

School board president Bob Baugher said the board appreciates all McMahan has done and will meet to discuss options for the district, including whether to hire a full-time or part-time superintendent or share one with another district.

”As a board we had to make a decision in this circumstance with the superintendent which we felt was the best we could make with our finances,” he said.

McMahan, of Rock Creek, was picked from 30 applicants in 2012 following the retirement of Frank Danso, who was superintendent there for seven years.

Baugher said the board has been looking at three main areas – finances, the cost of a superintendent and administrative duties.

”We are very concerned about the district’s finances. When the contract came up for renewal, we’re not going to continue on a three-year contract,” he said. McMahan’s first agreement was a two-year contract.

Resident Don Arbogast agreed that finances are an important issue, but asked why get rid of superintendent while having a treasurer and an assistant treasurer.

”You don’t kill the general and have the private run the Army… You have a dream of bringing in someone part-time as superintendent. I don’t find that very wise,” he said.