Albany school board fires superintendent

Melissa Goff's last day will be July 24.

Posted: Jul 14, 2021 9:37 PM
Updated: Jul 14, 2021 10:38 PM

ALBANY, Ore.-- The Albany school board fired superintendent Melissa Goff Wednesday night without giving a reason.

The school board approved a clause in Goff's contract that terminates her contract without cause. Her employment with the school district will end on July 24. The school district will pay for one year's salary and one year of benefits outlined in her contract.

Goff released a statement in response:

The Greater Albany Public Schools Board of Directors asked me to not attend tonight’s special session. On the agenda was an item to consider dismissing me from my role as the GAPS superintendent without cause, effective July 24, 2021. Their vote confirmed this proposed action.

When new school boards are elected, they sometimes choose to move in a different direction than the board they replace. This is one of those times. It is why "no cause termination" language is written into superintendent contracts, providing new boards the opportunity to hire a district leader aligned with their approach and beliefs.

Though this Board decision is not what I had hoped for the future of our students, I recognize that the Board is acting within its authority to take this action. When I began as GAPS superintendent in July 2019, it was with a Board who sought an equity leader who could guide the district through strategic planning where all voices were heard. For two years, I had the pleasure of working with a fully supportive Board aligned with my beliefs in how to create a District in which all students and families thrived. I am grateful for the students, families, staff, and community members who have partnered with us in this work.

I believe our new Board has expressed a commitment to the priorities shaped by your voice. I look forward to seeing the progress in equity and inclusion, in student and staff emotional and mental health, and in academic rigor and relevance. As an Albany resident and committed community member, I will be there with you to celebrate these successes in the bright future of Greater Albany Public Schools.

The Board voted 3-1 in favor of the motion with Vice Chair Morse, Director Nyquist, and Director Wilson voting aye, Director Thomson voting nay, and Chair Aguinaga abstaining. Superintendent Goff’s contract allows the board to take this action to dismiss the Superintendent without any showing of cause and to provide the Superintendent with a 10-day notice to pay 12 months salary and insurance benefits. The Board did not immediately name an interim Superintendent.

This is a developing story, stay with KEZI 9 News for the latest.

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