District approves contract extension for assistant superintendent

News

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The Decatur Public School board gave an administrator tenure, only seven months into the job.

Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Jeff Dase, started last April. His current contract expires in 2022. However, he got a contract extension that secured his job through 2025. Some teachers and parents fear they gave the school district a more uncertain future.

DPS Superintendent Dr. Paul Fregeau released a statement showing his support for Dase’s extended contract.

The Decatur Education Association wondered why this was done so early and with little time to prove why he should be kept on even longer. This came in the middle of several concerns revolving around the school district, including poor use of the alternative school and the slow moving negotiation process for TA’s.

Several people spoke at the Decatur school board meeting Tuesday night, as to why they did or did not think Dase was serving the district well. DEA members said there has been no collaboration between him and the DEA; he is not placing students well; and he is creating a culture of fear in the school.

“He hasn’t listened to us. He hasn’t listened to the past things that have happened in this district, and at times he’s even been dismissive with some of us, basically wanting to do it his way,” said DEA Vice President Susie Niesman.

The DEA said they have him a failing grade for his performance, but one man, Rod Wilson, stood up to say that Dase inherited an already failing district. He believes he is the type of leader the school district desperately needs. “We need to give him an opportunity to turn things around. Not one year, or less than one year. He needs some time. 5 years is barely enough,” said Wilson.”

After the vote to extend Dase’s contract passed, Dase himself stood up to make a statement. “There’s been some things said this week, but I’m a role model to those kids. So no matter what people say, you know where your heart is, and you don’t stoop to their level,” he said.

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