The Cozad Board of Education accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Joel Applegate during a special meeting on July 15th but, little information is available on the nature of the abrupt departure. Board President Michele Starman declined to comment beyond the minutes of board meetings citing matters of personnel. KRVN News also contacted Dr. Applegate who declined comment citing his agreement with the Board.
A review of past board minutes gives a timeline of events. In February, the Board amended Dr. Applegate’s two-year employment contract with an annual base salary of $156,060. It was an increase of about $3,000 from his contract approved in 2018.
During the Board’s regular meeting on June 17th, the Board entered executive session twice to discuss Superintendent’s evaluation.
A special meeting was held on June 28th to receive legal advise relating to the job performance of the Superintendent.
During a special Board meeting on July 8th, the Board retained attorney Josh Shauer for the purpose of assisting the Board in administering a hearing requested by Dr. Applegate regarding the proposed cancellation of his employment. The Board also conducted an interview of Interim Superintendent candidate Ron Wymore and then approved a 60-day contract for interim Superintendent services with him.
At the Board’s regular meeting on July 15th, the Board accepted Dr. Applegate’s resignation effective immediately and approved a resignation agreement and a release of claims. Dr. Applegate had served as Superintendent for Cozad Community Schools since July 2013.
Wymore is retired after spending 37 years in education with stops in Republican Valley, Grand Island, Mitchell and Pleasanton. Wymore began his teaching career as high school math teacher and then spent the last 27 years in administration at Pleasanton.