Morrill School Board Decides Not To Renew Superintendent’s Contract


      The Morrill school board has decided not to renew the contract of Superintendent Joe Sherwood.

The action came Monday night at a full-house, 4-hour board meeting that included a pair of hour-long closed-door executive sessions.

       The crowd was so big the meeting was adjourned and moved a block to the Morrill High School gymnasium, where most of a dozen members of the public offered concerns to the board about Sherwood’s leadership.

       Several said students and staff were leaving the Morrill district, many reportedly because Sherwood was giving them the support they needed. 

     A report on Sherwood’s annual review was already scheduled for the meeting, 9 evaluation categories with rating of 0-6.

He was ranked 5 or above in 2 areas, and over 4 in all the others except Organizational and Cultural Leadership, where he got a 3.33.

       At the end of the second executive session, Board President Dave Sherrod announced that Sherwood’s contract would not be renewed, but gave no reason why.

     Sherrod was part of the process when Sherwood was hired in 2015 and says it may be well into next summer before a new superintendent is on board.

       The Morrill school district already had 2 administrative vacancies. Elementary Principal Joe Wilson resigned after 3 months and business manager/HR director Stacy Rodriguez left in September to become business manager for the Gering schools.  

    The Morrill board Monday filled one of the vacancies, hiring Jennifer Pragnell as business manager with a $70,000 salary. Pragnell holds a similar job at the St Joseph’s Children’s Home in Torrington.

      The district has already been advertising the principal’s position, but the board said it would now expand the search while also starting the superintendent search.