During a recent marathon meeting, Pawhuska Board of Education members accepted the resignation of a longtime school administrator as principal of Pawhuska Elementary School.
Les Potter, who has served the local district for the past 22 years, will finish out the current school term before leaving to become principal at Alva High School, officials said.
Approval of the Potter resignation came in a May 12 regular board meeting which included a five-hour executive session. A variety of personnel issues were discussed at the non-public session.
School board president Justin Sellers said options for replacing the principal were considered, but that no action has been taken.
Early in the meeting, board members heard public concerns expressed over the possible elimination of the elementary school position. District officials have discussed a wide variety of budget-cutting measures in their ongoing efforts to cope with continued decreases of public school funding.
In his report to the board, Pawhuska School Superintendent Landon Berry told of additional budget challenges that are connected to district improvement projects. Dr. Berry informed the members of a possible expenditure of nearly $47,000 for re-locating a city fire hydrant near a new dressing room facility being built near the school softball complex.
According to the superintendent, the city has offered to supply a tap — but little other assistance — for construction of the line.
Berry also reported on a proposed $26,000 emergency renovation of an aging water tank at Oren Terrill Field House. Board members voted to authorize the superintendent to seek additional bids on the project.
The school official also reported on the recent testing procedures conducted in schools statewide.
"It was quite a challenge," said Berry. "Formerly, we took one week out for testing, but now we start in April and its still going on (in mid-May)."
The superintendent called the new state procedures "ridiculous."
"It’s really changed — and I’m not going to say for the better," Berry said. "The worst part is that some kids are probably not going to graduate because of it."