Lake Forest board votes to not renew superintendent’s contract

Brenda Wynder

FELTON — The Lake Forest school board voted against renewing Superintendent Brenda Wynder’s contract last week.

In a 4-1 vote, the board did not renew Dr. Wynder’s contract for an additional year. Phillip Thomas was the lone dissenting vote.

Dr. Wynder’s contract will end in June 2020. Dr. Wynder became superintendent of the district in 2015, following the short-lived tenure of her predecessor, who resigned from his post eight months on the job.

Now, the district will find itself under new leadership in 2020. In previous hiring processes, the board has held open meetings and forums, and worked with consulting firms in the search.

Earle Dempsey, school board president, said that, while the board has not yet outlined the full process for selecting the future superintendent, the board plans to have a “wide search and comprehensive selection process involving members from all stakeholder groups.” The search will solicit applicants from in and out of the state, he said.

“The Lake Forest Board of Education is committed to the success of our students and creating the best learning environments conducive to their success,” he added. “We continue to appreciate all the support our community provides our district and staff in pursuit of that goal.”

There was no discussion on the motion during the public hour-long board meeting Thursday night, but Mr. Dempsey noted that, through executive session, the board is able to discuss personnel matters.

Before taking over as superintendent, Dr. Wynder served as chief academic officer for Lake Forest. Previously, she was principal of Lake Forest North Elementary.

When she was first hired for the role, Dr. Wynder said in an interview with the Harrington Journal that, as superintendent, she wanted to foster constancy.

“When you have a place that is flourishing, there’s no need to be radical,” she said at the time. “But the need is to bring consistency and be sure that we’re all feeling that greatness. We’re really saying that we want to go from good to great.”

Dr. Wynder could not be reached by press time Monday.

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