Mount Pleasant superintendent plans to resign

Linda Slattery cites two board members as reason for decision

By Ray Legendre, Columbian staff writer

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Mount Pleasant Superintendent Linda Slattery said today she would resign her post due to "irreconcilable differences" with two longtime school board members.

Slattery planned to notify the board's members later today, she said this morning during a telephone interview. She still has one year left on her contract.

"I've decided life is too short," Slattery said, citing ongoing disrespect from board President Dolores Nelson and veteran board member Peggy Carroll as her reason for leaving. Slattery made her decision this weekend.

Slattery's announcement comes one month after she publicly butted heads with Nelson over the handling of a scandal in which a veteran bus driver confessed to stealing money from the K-6 district. Former bus driver Cheryl Randall has since resigned and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft. Randall's sentencing is Aug. 2.

Slattery said during last month's board meeting that Nelson had intimidated her into keeping Randall employed for eight months after her theft confession. Nelson labeled Slattery's comments as "lies" and said the superintendent had the power to fire Randall but elected not to instead.

The verbal volleys came after board member Thomas Schlatter urged Nelson to resign her post as board president. Nelson rejected Schlatter's request, noting she planned to stay as president until the end of this year.

Schlatter had planned to ask the board to vote to remove Nelson at Tuesday's board meeting. However, he said this morning the item would not be voted on this month because it was not on the agenda. He will instead seek Nelson's removal as board president at the August meeting, he said.

Nelson did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment for this story this afternoon.

Carroll expressed surprise at Slattery's decision and her statements that she had been disrespected by Carroll.

"I'm sorry she feels that way," Carroll said. "I have no ill feelings toward her. If she feels that way then I guess she isn't the right person for the job."

Carroll added, "If she can't take dealing with a person she feels is difficult then maybe it's to everybody's advantage" she resign.

Slattery wished the best to the district. She said she enjoyed working with the teachers, students and parents. However, her decision to resign was best for her health, she added.