Opponents of Scannell’s promotion began surfacing before Friday’s announcement, when he was only rumored to be a leading candidate. Lorienton Palmer, an attorney and a fixture at school board meetings, had questioned Scannell’s appointment to the assistant superintendent’s position in 2009, and said that his promotion “raises additional troubling questions.”
Palmer’s opposition to Scannell’s appointment in 2009 was based on an old bylaw in the school board charter. The statute, board policy 9210, holds that at least one year must expire before a departing board member can be employed by the district. The board, in a letter from Trustee Mary Jo O’Hagan, has explained that neither the board nor the district were aware that policy existed when they made the appointment. And according to the board, a review of the 9000 series of the policy manual in 2003 purged “superfluous and obsolete policies” and rendered the Scannell appointment legitimate.
A formal announcement confirming Scannell as the next superintendent was to be made on Wednesday at the regular monthly school board meeting at Baldwin Senior High School.
The man Scannell is due to replace said he is satisfied that the district he has led since 2008 is in good hands. “Congratulations to Mr. James Scannell …,” Mapes said. “Mr. Scannell will begin his new duties effective July 1, 2013. We wish him well as he leads the district forward.”
These are the qualities Baldwin’s school board determined it needed in a new superintendent.