TREYNOR, Iowa — A southwestern Iowa school superintendent has announced his resignation following a series of decisions in recent years that left the community divided.
Treynor Community Schools Superintendent Kevin Elwood informed the school board in a letter released Thursday that he would step down on June 30, the Daily Nonpareil reported (http://bit.ly/2qdTbOc ). That date marks the end of his current contract with the district where he has worked for 19 years — the last 14 years as superintendent.
While the district saw increased enrollment and academic and athletic achievements during Elwood’s tenure, it was marred by ethics charges against him related to sex abuse accusations against his son, who pleaded guilty in 2013 to two counts of assault and one of false imprisonment.
In 2015, the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners issued a 30-day suspension of his state education license, saying Elwood he should not have let his son work unsupervised as a school custodian for the district after he was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct. Elwood fought the suspension for nearly a year before dropping the appeal in exchange for a renewed contract from the school board.
The abuse led to a civil rights lawsuit from parents of a victim of Elwood’s son, which the district ultimately settled out of court. It also led to public calls for his ouster, even as other district patrons supported Elwood.
Elwood also was accused of mishandling a 2015 request for a student who suffered extreme anxiety and migraines to leave the district for an online school that could have better met his educational needs. The State Board of Education took the unusual step in 2016 of overruling the district’s dismissal of the open enrollment request.
In his resignation letter to the school board, Elwood said their relationship had eroded and it was time to allow “our outstanding students and staff the opportunity to continue to flourish.”
Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com