Geary "surprised" of board's decision to not renew his contract

Chris Geary (Courtesy / Community Christian School)

Community Christian School Administrator Chris Geary said was "completely surprised" of the school board's decision not to renew his contract for next school year.

"I was and continue to be completely surprised by these recent developments," Geary said in a prepared statement. "I willingly submit to the board's decision to 'take the school in a new direction;' on this direction we have a different vision."

In a separate prepared statement, the board said "the board's decision had nothing to do with any one specific incident or issue related to Geary."

The board held a special meeting last Monday where they voted not to renew his contract. Geary said Board President Colleen Howard invited him to come to the school about 7 p.m. When he arrived, Geary said Gil Watkins, the designated spokesperson for the board, informed him his contract was not going to be renewed and he was being placed on a "mandatory leave of absence," effective immediately.

The board said they placed Geary on "administrative leave of absence" effective immediately, "not as a hostile action toward Mr. Geary, but deemed to be in the best interest of the school and Mr. Geary."

Geary said the board gave him a three paragraph explanation that highlighted his contributions over the past 16 years, thanked him for all he had done for the school, informed him of the board's unanimous decision not to renew his contract, and offered condolences for the sorrow that he would experience as a result of their decision.

He said that the only reasoning offered for the decision was that the board felt "that God is leading us to take Community Christian School in a new direction." Geary said Watkins made it clear that he was not being fired.

In their statement, the board re-iterated that "Geary was not terminated or fired during the 2013-2014 school year. His contract will be honored through mid-July and he is granted leave until that time."

Geary said that despite previous reports he did not take a leave of absence to work on his house.

The board said that the staff was notified of the board's decision on Monday by Howard and board member Kevin Woodward. Families were notified in an e-mail from the board on Tuesday.

A letter addressing non-renewal of the contract will be given to the members at the schools' Corporate Meeting scheduled for Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at the school

Geary concluded: "I pray that Community Christian School will continue to be a beacon of the Truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and remain a viable option for educational excellence in our community."

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