With Bria retirement, Battle Ground district puts attention on personnel

Thursday's meeting will be ninth special session since April 29

By Susan Parrish, Columbian education reporter


Updated: June 26, 2013, 8:00 PM


Public meeting

■ Who: Battle Ground Public Schools board of directors.

■ What: Special public meeting.

■ When: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday.

■ Where: Former Lewisville School, 406 NW Sixth Ave., Battle Ground.

■ Information: Battle Ground Public Schools.

When the Battle Ground school board meets Thursday afternoon, it will be the ninth special meeting since April 29, when Shonny Bria, the district's superintendent, announced her retirement. Bria's last day with the district is June 30.

At seven of those special meetings, the superintendent's position or personnel were on the agenda. Updating district policies, something the board does annually, is the new business on Thursday's agenda, but John Idsinga, president of the school board, said that personnel "may be discussed" at Thursday's meeting.

"We're just trying to make sure nothing falls between the cracks," said Idsinga. "We're working on bringing in interim people, Duane Rose and Lynn Hicks. We want to be sure we're going in the right direction and not missing anything."

The board hired Rose as interim superintendent, while Hicks will be deputy interim superintendent, temporarily replacing Diana Gilsinger, who also is retiring June 30.

Bria's retirement package is the same as any other employee, according to Idsinga. Bria will be able to sell back any unused vacation, sick and personal days when her employment ends June 30, he said. Idsinga said Bria is not receiving any pay for the two years left on her contract.

State law says that school boards can meet as many times as deemed necessary to conduct a school district's business. Executive sessions are not open to the public and no minutes are taken.

Most school boards in Clark County meet once or twice a month. Although the Battle Ground school board's meeting schedule on the district's website lists 13 meetings between September 10, 2012, and June 10, 2013, in reality, the board has met eight additional times to discuss personnel issues since March 28.

After Bria's retirement announcement, the school board added seven special meetings and executive sessions to discuss "personnel," "personnel issues" and "evaluation of superintendent" on May 9, 18 and 30 and on June 5, 17 and 20.

Before Bria's retirement announcement, the board held special meetings in executive session on March 28 and again on April 26 regarding a "personnel complaint."

Thursday's meeting is open to the public.

Susan Parrish: 360-735-4515; http://twitter.com/Col_Schools; susan.parrish@columbian.com