Milton schools admin. continues leave of absence - Milton Courier : School

Milton schools admin. continues leave of absence - Milton Courier : School

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Milton schools admin. continues leave of absence

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Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:41 pm | Updated: 12:13 pm, Fri Dec 14, 2012.

School District of Milton Administrator Michael Garrow will be on an “approved leave of absence” through the end of the school year, the board of education announced Monday night.

The Milton Board of Education met for nearly two hours in executive session before reconvening to authorize the issuance of a press release regarding Garrow’s leave. The press release said the board and Garrow “mutually agreed” he would remain on leave through June 30, 2013.

Garrow has been on leave since mid-October.

In the press release, Garrow said his father died recently, “creating a void” in his family and “personal, family issues continuing on to this day.”

“However, this unfortunate event has also allowed time for reflection,” Garrow wrote. “I have had the opportunity to consider what is truly important, as well as to take into account that ‘life is short’ and that we should live each day to the fullest – pursuing our dreams.

“… The Board has decided to grant me leave so that I may continue to pursue my dreams – helping others to grow, learn, and become leaders,” he continued. “I appreciate this chance, and plan to use this opportunity in a way that will help me and others in future growth and learning experiences.”

School board president Rob Roy declined to say if Garrow would be paid during his leave of absence.

“I can’t tell you any more than what’s in the (press) release,” Roy said. “It’s a personnel matter and we don’t comment. That’s all that I can tell you.”

Attorney Bob Dreps of the Godfrey & Kahn law firm in Madison – who advises Wisconsin media outlets on open record matters – said there is nothing that legally prohibits the school district from disclosing if Garrow is being paid during his leave of absence. The Milton Courier filed an open records request at the School District of Milton Central Office on Tuesday morning formally seeking that information.

“The open records law would compel it,” Dreps said. “The taxpayers of any community have a right to know how their money is being spent … I don’t think this is even a close call.”

Prior to Monday’s executive session meeting, the school board met four times – Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Oct. 22 and Oct. 29 – to discuss “District Administrator Evaluation,” according to posted agendas. The board’s human resources committee also met in executive session on Nov. 2 to discuss the evaluation.

Roy said Monday night was the first time the board met to discuss the leave of absence, which was posted as “District Administrator Employment.”

“The previous meetings have been part of the regular evaluation process of the superintendent,” Roy said. “They just happened to coincide.”

Meanwhile, the board announced in the press release that steps have been taken to make sure administrative duties are completed during Garrow’s absence. The board intends to appoint an interim district administrator “without delay.”

Garrow began his role as Milton’s district administrator on July 1, 2011, according to Courier archives. He replaced Bernie Nikolay, who served as the district administrator for three years before accepting the superintendent position in Cambridge, his hometown. Garrow served as the principal of Mount Horeb High School for five years before coming to Milton.

In the press release, Garrow said he has enjoyed his time working as Milton’s district administrator and he “appreciated the opportunity to lead the District.”

“The teaching staff with whom I have had the opportunity to work has been wonderful; working extremely hard to provide quality learning for our students,” Garrow wrote. “My own gain in experience with the District is something that I hope has been to the benefit of staff members, as well as to the benefit of our most valuable commodities – our children!”

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  • acj posted at 10:41 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2012.

    acj Posts: 5

    IMpatiently waiting Mr. Eyster for you to go AWAY, no enjoys reading your BABBLE on this site ANYmore than they enjoy it on the JANESVILLE GAZETTE. I am more than ABLE to form my own opinions withOUT yours. There you go...

  • JoyM posted at 9:46 am on Fri, Nov 16, 2012.

    JoyM Posts: 1

    Once again, Garrow opens his mouth and annoys the heck out of me! Do NOT refer to my children as commodities, like they are sold on the open market like corn and oil! And valuable is not the correct adjective - try precious instead. He really just needs to go all the way away and dream his dream or whatever. We need to know IF we are paying for him to do nothing, and if so WHY - is it contract verbiage for due process, etc. I'm glad both the Courier and the Gazette are going after the Board under the Open Records law. If it IS a personnel matter due to performance, then maybe we don't need to know the specifics, only if continuing to pay him is under the terms of his contract, and why any available steps to cut that loss are not being accelerated as much as possible. And that contract verbiage had better be revisited before another name signs on the dotted line. You are right, Dr. Eyster - I've lost patience with some of the members of this sitting board.

  • JWEyster posted at 4:50 am on Thu, Nov 15, 2012.

    JWEyster Posts: 9

    Waiting IMpatiently for our MILTON SCHOOL BOARD to clarify the REAL SITUATION vis-a-vis the SUPERINTENDENT who continues on leave - with or without pay - WHO KNOWS? - until the end of 2012-13 school year. This comment is very incisive... where is the transparency of our Board? I too wonder where the "honest relationship with the community" is NOW. Do we need to RECALL members of our Milton School Board? Can we recruit candidate to run for our Milton School Board next year who will PROMISE TRANSPARENCY w/HONESTY? GRATEFUL to the Janesville Gazette for filing the OPEN RECORDS REQUEST... waiting IMpatiently for our BOARD to obey WI State Law... IF they cost us one red cent for UNwillingness to report on the compensation inquiry and other facets, we MUST remove incumbent board members with ALL DELIBERATE SPEED! Now is the TIME! What do YOU think? Here we go...

  • mexicron07 posted at 10:03 am on Wed, Nov 14, 2012.

    mexicron07 Posts: 1

    The timing of Garrow's father's death is conveniently being used by the school board to hide the truth, but a lot of people in the community already know and more will surely find out before all is said and done. Why is it that Garrow's leave runs to the exact date his contract expires? Is it so the board can cut ties at that point and continue to pretend like nothing inappropriate happened? How come Garrow's district e-mail account was completely shut down when his leave began? If he was truly on leave because of a death in the family, and planning to come back, the district wouldn't have closed his e-mail account. Employers don't do that if someone's going to return to their job. Why won't the district comment on whether this leave is paid or not? Is it because it is paid, and they know the backlash they'll receive when people learn the truth and realize he's been collecting a six-figure salary for sitting at home? So much for fiscal prudence by the board. So much for an open, honest relationship with the community.