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Bartlett absent from functions

May 02, 2001

Bartlett absent from functions



By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett has been absent from at least six public school system functions, including a budget workshop, a Board of Education work session and a business meeting, since he announced his resignation April 19.

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Bartlett is being paid his full $105,000 salary for this year and agreed to a buyout of $35,000 in place of next year's salary. Next year would have been the final year of his four-year contract.

On the day of his resignation, Bartlett said he would work through June 30.

The functions Bartlett has not attended include:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> An April 24 budget workshop to discuss the County Commissioners' proposal to slice $1.6 million from the Board of Education's budget.

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HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The Washington County Teacher of the Year and Awards of Excellence in Education celebration on April 25. His name was listed on the program to give remarks.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The Open House event for the school system's new Judy Center on April 30.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The second school consolidation town meeting at Western Heights Middle School on April 30. Bartlett attended the first town meeting.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> A Tuesday morning Board of Education work session.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> A Tuesday evening business meeting.

School Board President J. Herbert Hardin said he did not know whether Bartlett would attend another meeting before he leaves his job.

He also said he did not know why Bartlett has been absent from the school functions and meetings.

"He's legally and authoritatively still the superintendent of schools," Hardin said.

School Board member Paul Bailey said Bartlett could be using accumulated leave time.

Hardin said Bartlett has attended some recent ceremonies, including the state program honoring Smithsburg Elementary School's Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award held in Baltimore.

Carol Mowen, the board's public information officer, said Bartlett is coordinating his appointments and appearances with John Hull, acting deputy superintendent.

Hull was also appointed a liaison to the board during the search for a new superintendent. Hardin said the board has been working closely with Hull on school operations. The board plans to have an interim superintendent in place by June 30, Hardin said.

Hull has attended the functions Bartlett has missed. Mowen said that Bartlett's absence from the six functions doesn't necessarily mean he won't attend upcoming events or meetings. She also said Bartlett had been ill, which caused him to take a sick day last week.

"Dr. Bartlett continues to carry out his duties as superintendent," Mowen said. "Dr. Bartlett is supportive of the transition and continues to provide direction to the staff."

"He is also sharing his leadership duties with Mr. Hull as they deem appropriate."

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