The Cody School Board on Tuesday cut ties with superintendent Ray Schulte.
During contract review in the monthly board meeting, vice-chair Jenni Rosencranse made a motion to have his contract terminated effective immediately, without a requirement to prove cause or reason as per the terms of the contract. Trustee Cathy Roes seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously, with trustee John McCue voicing his approval via phone.
“The board would like to say thank you to Mr. Schulte for your years of service,” chair Brandi Nelson said. “And we do wish you well.”
She said trustees will work to secure an interim superintendent immediately and hope to have that position filled soon.
“We will begin our search for a new superintendent as soon as possible,” Nelson added.
Schulte was hired in 2013. Trustee Stefanie Bell is the lone board member remaining who participated in bringing him into the district from Torrington. His current contract runs through the end of the 2020-2021 school year and has a salary of $165,000 under his current contract.
“We will comply with the terms of the contract,” Nelson said. The motion to terminate includes the district paying liquidated damages – including future salary – subject to the terms and conditions of the contract.
Schulte said he had intended to stay on through the end of the contract.
“I have a contract through June of 2021 and I had full intentions of fulfilling that agreement,” Schulte wrote in a prepared statement. “However, the Cody School Board is terminating me without cause. We have different ideas about superintendent and trustee roles, and that happens.”
Schulte led the board during some tough times, such as budget cuts and dropping enrollment in his first few years, but more recently he has overseen rising enrollments and a more stable financial position for the district.
In the last couple of years he has worked with trustees to set a policy allowing for trained, qualified staff to concealed carry firearms in the schools, and to approve the construction of a new transportation complex on Beacon Hill.
In 2018 he was named the state’s top superintendent.
“My goal throughout the 20 years as a Wyoming school superintendent has been to provide the best possible experience for students,” Schulte said. “I sincerely thank those trustees who hired me in 2013 and all who have placed their trust in my ability to lead the district. I have enjoyed interacting with the students and staff in Cody, Wapiti and Valley schools. Cody graduates are amazingly high achievers and I am confident once the board proceeds with Portrait of a Graduate, more good things will happen.
“There is a lot of talent and energy within the school system, and I wish them the very best.”