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School district to pay McMinimee $27,000 bonus

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Payment is part of demotion agreement among the parties

By Sal Christ

Jeffco Public Schools will pay former superintendent Dan McMinimee $27,000 in additional performance pay when his contract expires later this year as part of an agreement approved last Thursday that formalizes his demotion from superintendent to an advisory role for the remainder of his contract.

Publicized last Friday, the agreement details the terms of McMinimee’s demotion, including the fact that he was relieved of his duties as superintendent at 5 p.m. Feb. 28, that he will “remain generally available to the President of the Board for special projects and consultation as needed and to assist the school district with a transition to a new superintendent” and that he will continue to receive his current base salary and “fringe benefits” included in the fifth section of his contract.

Furthermore, the agreement includes anti-disparagement clauses and provisions that release both the district and McMinimee from holding the other responsible for any legal issues that arise or are related to his employment.

Signed by both parties as of March 9, the agreement draws to a close months of uncertainty after the school board elected in December to put to a motion on whether to search for a new superintendent on the Jan. 12 board agenda.

After the board voted Jan. 12 to search for a new superintendent, community concerns mushroomed with many speaking out against the decision during public comment sessions in the weeks that followed. Rumors about McMinimee’s future with Jeffco further swirled after board members called a surprise executive session Feb. 16 to “seek advice of legal counsel on the superintendent’s contract.”

While some community members have called the decision to look for a new superintendent — as well as the executive sessions related to that decision — lacking in transparency, board President Ron Mitchell stressed that no decisions were made behind closed doors. Furthermore, McMinimee confirmed that the decision to move into an advisory role for the remainder of his contract was a mutual one.

Following approval of the agreement Thursday night, the school board formally appointed Terry Elliott as the acting superintendent of Jeffco Public Schools. Elliott’s appointment comes on the heels of his own resignation from his role as chief school effectiveness officer with the school district on Feb. 24. He will move on to a high school principal position with Brighton’s School District 27J after his contract expires June 30.

Contact reporter Sal Christ at sal@evergreenco.com or at 303-350-1035.