Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Pendleton resigns as school district superintendent

July 4, 2001

Nearly one year after he was asked to take a leave of absence, Basehor-Linwood School District Superintendent Dave Pendleton has submitted his resignation.

At a special meeting June 27, the School Board announced that Pendleton had officially resigned from the school district although he had a year remaining on his contract.

By resigning with a year left on his contract, Pendleton and the school district agreed on a severance package of $152,625. Pendleton had been drawing a yearly salary of $96,969.

Pendleton was not present at the meeting and could not be reached for comment.

On Aug. 5, 2000, School Board members gave Pendleton leave so he could look after his wife, who has a serious medical condition.

Later in the year Pendleton said he did not request the leave of absence and was able to return to work.

"I am able to return whenever the board feels it is appropriate," Pendleton said in February. "That is really the only thing I want to say at this point."

At the time of his leave, Pendleton had accumulated 63 days of sick leave. After his sick leave days were depleted, the School Board announced that Pendleton would not be returning to the school district during the school year.

The School Board said at the time said it was their understanding that Pendleton was exploring other job opportunities. Pendleton remained on paid leave during this time as a consideration for his 12 years of service to the school district, School Board members said.

Although there has been speculation as to why Pendleton was asked to take leave, the School Board maintained it was so he could care for his ill wife.

"We allowed him to take leave to take care of his wife," School Board President Kerry Mueller said.

When it became apparent that Pendleton would not be returning to the school district, negotiations to end the relationship began.

"It is our understanding he was looking to pursue other interests," Mueller said. "It was our understanding he had been looking for something else for some time."

School Board officials said it was important to the school district to resolve the situation with Pendleton. With Pendleton's resignation, the School Board was able to name Cal Cormack as superintendent of the school district. (See related story, Page 1A)

Cormack had stepped in as acting superintendent during Pendleton's absence.

School Board members said one of the ways to make up the money lost in the Pendleton severance package is to discontinue the assistant superintendent position, which was formerly occupied by Cormack.

The School Board members termed the resolution with Pendleton as a "win, win" situation and said it appreciated his service to the school district.

"The board very much appreciates the contributions Dr. Pendleton has made to the school district," Cormack said. "All we have to do is look around at the changes in the school district. All of it is a tribute to his accomplishments."

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