RH board says ‘no’ on Evans’ contract

Published 11:03 pm Saturday, January 24, 2009

ELIZABETH TOWNSHIP — In a special meeting Thursday evening, the Rock Hill Board of Education opted not to re-employ long-time and often-embattled superintendent Lloyd Evans, whose contract will expire in July.

Newly elected board president Dennie Hankins said he made the motion to not re-employ Evans and vice-president Lavetta Sites seconded it. The vote was 4-1 with fellow board members Wanda Jenkins and Paul R. Johnson voting for the motion and board member Keith Roth casting the dissenting vote.

There was no discussion of the motion at the meeting.

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“We just made a decision as the board of education (not to re-employ) the superintendent because we feel it is in the best interest of the school district,” Hankins said when reached by phone.

Ohio law does not require school boards to give a public reason for its decisions to non-renew contract employees.

Having served as superintendent in the district for more than two and half decades, Evans’ contract with the board expires July 31.

Evans was unable to be reached for comment.

Evans and several incarnations of the school board have been at odds for years.

In late 2003, a lame-duck school board made up of individuals who had publicly expressed their support for Evans gave him a new, five-year contract after Sites and Jenkins, who were not considered to be Evans supporters, won seats on the board in the November 2003 general election.

Shortly after the new board members were seated in 2004, Sites, Jenkins and Johnson opted to non-renew Evans’ new contract. Evans sued them in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court contending that his contract was valid. Evans won the case and returned to his position.

A grass-roots organization known as Citizens Against Poor Spending successfully sued to remove Sites, Jenkins and Johnson from the board — only the second time such a lawsuit has even been successful in Ohio — for malfeasance of office.

However, Jenkins was re-elected to the board only weeks after being removed in the lawsuit. Johnson and Sites later won their seats back through subsequent elections.