Lex Suite no longer school system director

DIRECTOR DISCUSSIONS – Now former South Carroll Director of Schools Lex Suite (at right) listens as school board members discuss his contract and position as system director during a June 9 called meeting. Also pictured are (from left) board member Christy Blount and board chairman Corey Bartholomew.

Lex Suite will no longer be serving as director of schools over the South Carroll Special School District following action taken by the Board of Education during a June 9 called meeting.

In a 4-1 decision, the board voted to transfer Suite to another position inside the school system until his contract expires in June of next year, to appoint an interim director as soon as possible, and then to start the process of searching for a new director.

According to the motion made by board member Christy Blount, the new interim director, once appointed, will determine what position Suite will hold in the school system.

Blount, board chairman Corey Bartholomew, and board members Donna McDaniel-Cox and Nick Cobb voted in favor of the motion. Board member Tom Miller voted against it.

Another called meeting to discuss and possibly take action on the appointment of an interim director was set for Tuesday night, June 14, but that meeting had not yet happened as of press time Monday.

During the June 9 meeting, some board members implied dissatisfaction with Suite’s performance as director, though all the comments were fairly vague and no specific issues or incidents were cited.

“I appreciate that Mr. Suite has done a lot for us, but I feel like we need to seek a change,” said Bartholomew.

McDaniel-Cox provided the most lengthy comments, stressing the need to seek out the most qualified teachers, maintain superior curriculum, and to continuously strive to improve all aspects of the school system.

“Sometimes I feel like we’re just pushing rope,” said McDaniel-Cox, who also stressed the importance of a school environment where everyone is treated with respect.

During earlier discussions, McDaniel-Cox said that it was her opinion that just paying off the remainder of Suite’s contract would put a financial strain on the school district, and when asked what he would prefer to do, Suite said he would prefer to finish out his contract.

Bartholomew pointed out that Suite’s contract contains a provision allowing for the transfer to a lower position if the board so chooses.

Suite was hired on as South Carroll’s director back in June of 2020 on a $90,000 annual salary following the retirement of former director Dr. Tony Tucker.

David Huss was the board’s first pick to replace Tucker, but Suite was chosen after Huss opted to withdraw his bid for the job.

Suite provided the following written statement to the media following the June 9 meeting: “I appreciate the opportunities I have been given at Clarksburg School. I look forward to a seamless transition. As always, my focus will remain on our community, teachers, and especially our students.”

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