DUSD school board votes to accept superintendent resignation

Posted at 5:20 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 01:10:54-04

Members of the Dysart Unified School District board voted to accept the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Quinn Kellis Wednesday night.

Member Traci Sawyer-Sinkbeil and Member Jo Grant voted no; President Christine Pritchard, Clerk Chrystal Chaffin and Member Dawn Densmore voted yes to accept the superintendent's resignation.

Dr. Jim Dean is now the acting superintendent.

Wednesday's meeting started in executive session to "obtain legal advice and provide direction to the attorney for the public body regarding the superintendent's resignation agreement and release."

The executive session was followed by the board taking action on Dr. Kellis' resignation during the regular meeting at 6 p.m.

During the meeting, former Dysart educator and public education advocate Kathleen Honne said that she is organizing an effort to recall board members Pritchard and Chaffin.

Honne said Dr. Kellis voiced his opposition against "critical race theory" because it was non-existent in the district's curriculum. She feels his opposition to a politically-charged policy could have played a key role in board members Pritchard and Chaffin working to remove him from his superintendent role.

Dr. Kellis has been superintendent for the past four years, including being at the helm during countless changes in and out of the classroom during the pandemic.

Talking with some parents in support of Dr. Kellis at Wednesday's meeting, some feel he was pushed out by board members who don't agree with his leadership decisions.

One parent said "critical race theory" has been brought up regularly despite the school district saying on multiple occasions the teachings aren't allowable and hasn't ever been in the curriculum.

A survey by DUSD from June 9, 2021 measures family satisfaction, with the superintendent leadership satisfaction ranging from 85%-88%.

Action and discussion are slated to take place to appoint an acting Superintendent on Wednesday.