School bombshell – Carney surrenders chair, possibly board position

By on August 13, 2014

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Carlen Carney surprised fellow board members with her announcement that she will surrender the chair on the board of trustees for the Teton County School District No. 1 effectively immediately.

Carney shared the news opening the board’s regular Wednesday meeting. She read a brief statement and turned the gavel over to vice chair Kate Mead who ran the rest of the meeting. Carney alluded to the board’s recent Succession Planning work, which includes the idea that trustees are close to making a new hire to assist Superintendent Pam Shea in daily operation of the district, as the reason why she is stepping down. At the suggestion of trustee Janine Teske, the board is considering hiring a Chief Operating Office to run the school system’s non-educational facets.

“Later in this evening’s agenda there will be a report and an action item on the topic, during both of which I will step out of the room,”Carney said, on the verge of tears. “I also feel it appropriate, due to my potential interest in applying for this role, that I step down as board chair, which I will do in just a few minutes. Thank you. It has truly been my pleasure to serve the board as chair.”

Carney called for an immediate five minute recess during which she told The Planet she was fairly certain she would apply for the COO position which was made official later in the evening. She added that she felt it appropriate that she resign her position as chair to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest when later discussing the new hire. When that time comes, Carney said, she will vacate her term on the board of trustees.

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