Three Huron school board members give perspectives

Get the Q&A from both sides with Kevin Asher, Tim Sowecke and John Caporini
Alissa Widman Neese
Apr 2, 2013

A community and school district severed by a year-long investigation could find closure tonight.

The Huron school board plans to either fire or rehire Fred Fox, the district’s ousted superintendent, at a 7:30 p.m. meeting in McCormick Junior High School’s auditorium.

Live coverage at sanduskyregister.com from McCormick school begins at 7 p.m. 

Get the timeline and more in today's Register. Click here for the ePaper, for home delivery or buy a Register daily at a newsstand near you.

The board tabled the decision at a similar meeting two weeks ago with a 3-2 vote. Board members Kevin Asher and John Caporini voted against the decision.

A crowd of 400 attended the heated gathering, eagerly anticipating a decision. About 600 viewed the meeting live as it happened at sanduskyregister.com. Debate went on for an hour, with 14 people voicing opinions on the matter, a majority against Fox.

Click here for an index of links to watch video clips of residents who spoke at the last school board meeting. 

The Register reached out to the board members Asher, Caporini, Tim Sowecke and Donna Green on Monday, to ask three questions concerning tonight’s meeting. Green did not return multiple phone messages seeking comment. 

Q: What are your expectations for the meeting tomorrow night?

Asher: I expect the board will reject the state referee’s recommendation and fire Fox. I’ve felt that for the last year. Though the superintendent has been found innocent, they will terminate him anyhow

Caporini: Because the state’s recommendation was so in favor of Fox, I’m hoping the board and others will see the best thing for the district is to reinstate him. I’m hoping and planning it will happen.

Sowecke: I have no expectations. I hope, like last meeting, the proceedings are very professional and respectful, but we’ll just have to wait and see what business comes before us.

Q: If the vote doesn’t go the way you want, how do you suggest the district moves forward?

Asher: I don’t know if it can. The consequences of not following the referee’s recommendation could be extremely serious for the school district. I’m sure the lawsuits will be flying after this decision.

Caporini: The operation of our district needs to take our full attention again. If the decision doesn’t go the way I hope, legal issues will arise, but we need to focus on what we can do to keep the district safe and the state funding we’ll be losing in the next few years.

Sowecke: It would be inappropriate to speculate how the vote will turn out, so I choose not to speculate on any outcome or how we might react to it.

Q: Looking past the issue of the superintendent, what do you consider the most pressing issue Huron Schools is facing today?

Asher: It’s clearly our budget. We’re in a year where we’ve lost nearly $2 million and we’re budgeted to lose $2.5 million next year. We need to concentrate on the budget and get this thing behind us. Our changes of passing a levy will realistically be slim now because of this.

Caporini: School districts are all governed by our financial picture. Unfortunately I don’t know all the answers of what the state will do. There are a lot of question marks out there.

Sowecke: In very general terms, the entire district must focus on day-to-day striving for excellence.

Click here for an index of links to video clips of residents who spoke at the last school board meeting. 

Click here to read past articles covering the firing of Fred Fox. 

Comments

MrSandusky

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Phil Packer

Fire up, Kevin!

Retiree

Let the lawsuits fly and then bring in the mistress. She has a lot to bring to the table. The defense attorney does not pay taxes in Huron so why does he care. All he wants is the money to go to Kelleys Island with his friend that has no merit in any decision. I would have like to see more of Fox friends testify. They made it sound like he could walk on water. Forget all the rest of the testimony, the decision was made before he put his pants on. This needs to go to court because a lot of people perjured themselves. With the 2700 page report, the State District Attorney should be made aware of how the referee could make a decision like that.

nobodyfromnowhere

So you finally read the report? And all approx. 2700 pages of testimony? Even though on 03/13/2013 you said you did not and that it had "no merit" and was "a dog and pony show"? Good for you. Maybe you're right maybe a "State District Attorney" should look at it. Let me know when you find one of those in Ohio.

Still Sold

You go, Nobody !
(That is some impressive homework !)

Tsu Dho Nimh

Of course there will be lawsuits if the vote does not go your way, Mr. Asher. Filing foolish injunctions and lawsuits is what you do best. Did you know that some people perjured themselves in that report? It was all discussed at a meeting...oops, that meeting doesn't exist. Oh my, what else did you "forget"?

UgtaBkdnMe

Compulsive liars believe everything that comes out of their own mouth. It's pathetic that they actually believe they are telling the truth.

UgtaBkdnMe

Some folks believe everything that comes out of their own mouth. It's pathetic that they actually believe they are telling the truth.

donutshopguy

I believe the only way the community can get back to normal is for the whole board and the superintendent to be replaced. Start over clean.

Still Sold

I think it may have to come to this..
Settle the lawsuits and move foreward, Donut !

UgtaBkdnMe

If you're going to lie, PLEASE make sure that you can't be proved wrong because then you look like a total idiot.

Mime Bloggling's picture
Mime Bloggling

How much easier and cost-effective this would have been had they simply road this out until Fox's contract expired in 2014 and simply not renew.

Still Sold

You may be a mime, but you are so correct in your summation !

Tsu Dho Nimh

Contrary to what Mr. Asher claimed tonight, a district cannot simply non-renew an administrator. Check out the Ohio Revised Code and you will see that I am correct. An administrator must have TWO negative evaluations in the year that he/she is not renewed. He would yell retaliation if he was brought back and then given a negative evaluation.

wiredmama222

@Mime...that would be the prudent and RIGHT thing to do, but somehow, this board made up it's mind a long time ago. The rest is smoke and mirrors all based on emotion doing things the wrong way. Two wrongs will never make a right no matter how hard one tries.

good old boy

How could anyone have perjured themselves when the idiot attorney the board hired never questioned anyone under oath.???

UgtaBkdnMe

The transcripts show where they were sworn in.

Darwin's choice

By whom, "should we, sue-em, and how" attys. at law?

UgtaBkdnMe

The transcripts just state they were "duly sworn". After reading the referee's report, I'm guessing it was the firm Lye, Cheetam, and Steele.

luvblues2

I heard it was, Dewie, Cheetham & Howe.

UgtaBkdnMe

double post

Retiree

Yes, I did read the report. The more I read,it made me sick . My personal opinion, it was really an unprofessional decision by the referee. A waste of taxpayer money. You poor people in Huron are being drug threw the ringer by a group of idiots. I will be at meeting tonight to watch all the yelling and screaming because they didn't get their way.. Good luck Huron tonight, I wonder if there is a full moon? Some people don't need a full moon to act the way they do. We know who they are. It will be fun.

nobodyfromnowhere

At least you read it. Any luck finding one of those "State District Attorneys" yet?

Still Sold

First of all..
The Huron Board of Education has a spokesperson, the president, Scott Slocum. When ever the rest of the board decides to just answer the press's questions it is a serious faux paux. They need to just shut up and stand together and let Slocum do the talking.

Everything about this board is just wrong.

wiredmama222

@still sold....amen, the final nails in the coffin were placed tonight. How will this board now explain that THEY sent the information to the State? When told they were wrong, they totally ignored that State finding calling it words that make me wonder what they are thinking? If you aren't going to follow the State findings, why send the complaint in the first place? It makes no sense. Because it tells you what you DON'T want to hear? That you might be wrong??? WOW, the State is going to side with Fox again and again, not the board, no matter who complains because wrong is wrong. You cannot change facts. What happened tonight is probably best except for the potential lawsuits. (Apparently the board law director knows they will get sued or that letter would never have been circulated.) This was handled wrong from the beginning. Short range thinking can leave long range problems and this situation is going to be just that sort of situation. Sad for the schools of Huron. Really sad.

Still Sold

OK..
I can't see the meeting.
I find Scott Slocum's statement/smackdown funny. Mr. Slocum, you think you can tell everyone not to talk about the Fred Fox fiasco ?

Either way it goes Huron taxpayers are going to foot the bill and you know it. Your board has made a mockery of employment in general. No superintendent in his right mind is going to work for you. In fact, if I was an employee of the Huron City Schools, I would be looking for another place to work.

You have made decisions that not only are going to cost taxpayers today, but are going to affect the school and taxpayers for years to come. I know your insurance company has a limit on what they are going to spend to bail you out. I think you have a half million in insurance, but I will make sure that figure is correct before I talk about it anymore. Not because you said no one could talk about it.

I don't blame you.. You have totally screwed up and it is not going to be easy to get it back to 'normal'.

Board members - Step down and let the cards fall where they may. It can't be any worse than what you have done.

wiredmama222

that's a good post, pretty accurate accounting of this whole thing. (It sounds like that letter came from the BOE attorney to him telling them to shut up, though).

Cat Lover 1952

Hey Darwin's Choice, looks like they disagreed with your uneducated opinion to rehire him. You can cry and call names all you want, but your ignorance and obnoxiousness has earned you nothing. Go cry to your mother about how your opinion is not respected nor agreed with.

Darwin's choice

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Cat Lover 1952

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

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