School board turmoil: 4 more superintendents make quick departures

Superintendents step down in North Carolina, Michigan and Massachusetts ... 4 more quick departures are roiling the ranks of superintendents

Orange County Schools has suddenly parted ways with Monique Felder, who had been the North Carolina district’s leader since late 2019, according to multiple reports.

Monique Felder,
Monique Felder

Felder’s last day with the Raleigh-Durham-area district was Aug. 2, and the Orange County Schools school board quickly replaced her with interim superintendent Jim Merrill, who previously led the Wake County Public School System, Alamance-Burlington School System, and Virginia Beach City Public Schools. In a letter to the community, Felder said the move came after “conversations I have had with the Orange County Board of Education,” WRAL reported.

“As the district moves into the next chapter, my hope is that the core values that we created together as a learning community will continue to hold true. Most importantly, that we continue to value diversity and put children first,” Felder said in the message, which has since been removed from the district’s website.

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Also on Aug. 2, Robert Shaner resigned “effectively immediately” as the superintendent of Rochester Community Schools near Detroit, C&G Newspapers reported. Shaner, who had been Rochester Community Schools’ superintendent since 2013, had been on a leave of absence since the spring, Without giving the reason for Shaner’s departure, Rochester’s school board president credited the departing superintendent for spearheading facilities upgrades and promoting “a culture of inclusivity, diversity and belonging,” according to C&G Newspapers.

In the same state, William Kalmar has left Almont Community Schools after he was reassigned from his role as superintendent, The County Press reports. Kalmar, who had been in the post since 2016, was offered a dean of students position after Almont’s school board decided it no longer shared the former superintendent’s vision for the district, which, in recent months, has twice delayed putting a bond measure on the ballot, The County Press reports.

John Buckey
John Buckey

Finally in Massachusetts, John Buckey has stepped down as superintendent of Marblehead Public Schools, which is in a small town just north of Boston, reported. Buckey, who had served Marblehead for more than three years, resigned amidst contract negotiations and the postponement of a school board meeting at which had intended to exercise an early termination clause in the former superintendent’s contract, according to

Hiring slows down as the school year begins

Angela Fitzpatrick

Elsewhere, the hiring of superintendents slowed down after many months of heavy activity at the top of K12. In East Texas, Angela Fitzpatrick has been named the lone finalist for superintendent of Karnack ISD, which includes her hometown of Marshall. Fitzpatrick, who is now a principal in the district, will replace Superintendent Amy Dickson, who is retiring in December.

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Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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