Administrator’s departure involuntary
By Ben Rodgers
The recent resignation of top administrator David Dyb was not by his choosing.
An open records request by the Waupaca County Post shows he was essentially forced out of his job.
The County Post obtained a copy of the resignation agreement between Dyb and School Board President Kristen Hoyord.
“I never requested any type of leave OK? And the resignation agreement is basically an agreement that my attorney and I negotiated with the board president and their attorney,” Dyb said.
His resignation was accepted by the Iola School Board on April 4 to be effective on June 30.
However, the five-page agreement obtained by the County Post and signed by Dyb and Hoyord was dated on Jan. 6. Hoyord did not date the document when she signed it.
“On Jan. 3, 2017, the full board took unanimous action to approve the resignation of Dr. Dyb effective at the end of the 2016-17 school year,” Hoyord said in an email. “Because of the terms of the agreement with Dr. Dyb, the district took such action in closed session and maintained the confidentiality of that action. As soon as we were able to do so and in accordance with the terms of the agreement with Dr. Dyb, the district announced Dr. Dyb’s sabbatical leave and then later announced his resignation.”
Dyb went on sabbatical with the stated expectation that he would resign effective June 30.
“There’s nothing wrong with me saying that my resignation was involuntary and I never asked for leave,” Dyb said. “It was something that the board president chose to do.”
Hoyord said it was the choice of the full board.
“It is true that the full board wanted to go in a different direction from Dr. Dyb’s leadership style,” she wrote. “We met with Dr. Dyb in December 2016, to discuss a transition. Dr. Dyb’s contract was scheduled to expire on June 30, 2017.
“In accordance with Wis. Stat. §118.24, even if the board simply wanted to go into a different direction, the contract would renew for another two-year period, unless the board took action to non-renew the contract or unless the parties entered into an agreement to mutually agree to terminate the contract,” her email read. “The non-renewal process can be expensive for a school district and can be damaging to the reputation of an administrator. As a result, the parties entered into the resignation agreement and waiver/release of claims that has been produced in response to public records requests.”
The document also revealed that Dyb will be given a lump sum payment of $15,000, plus $9,161 for 22 days of unused vacation, all subject to state and federal income taxes, within 15 days of the full execution of the document.
Dyb will is also collecting his paycheck through his resignation effective date on June 30. He is slated to make $108,267 for the year.
“Basically she (Hoyord) wanted to go in a different direction with leadership in the district and that’s what you do,” Dyb said of the agreement. “Basically the parties agree to a resignation agreement that at the end of my contract I move on, and the reason why you do that is that sometimes there’s situations in which you can work out an agreement to sever employment prior to the end of the contract. That’s the legalese part of it, why you do those things.”
As far as getting into specifics for the reason for the agreement Dyb said board members did not give him any.
“Keep in mind I was never given the opportunity to speak with the entire board, despite requesting to do so,” he said.
The agreement also stated: “The parties agree that the interests of citizens in the District are served if the parties refrain from making disparaging comments about one other.”
Dyb also said he was hesitant to go into any detail about certain issues that are still being discussed by the board.
“I’m not going to throw anyone under the bus, or be negative about anyone in the district because I’m under contract, and I care deeply for the school district,” he said.
Hoyord also said in her email that any breach of the contract could result in legal action.
“The resignation agreement is a contract between two parties. If either party breaches the Resignation Agreement, the other party would have the right to pursue legal action in order to compel compliance and/or to obtain damages related to or arising out of the breach,” she wrote.
In the event that Dyb applies for unemployment the agreement also states that “the District shall respond by saying his resignation was not voluntary … it was not for misconduct connected with with employment … and it was not for his ‘substantial fault.’”
This language would allow Dyb to collect unemployment in accordance with Wisconsin law.
Dyb said he has been doing some consulting work and has applied for a few positions.
“I’m exploring career opportunities as I was instructed to do by the board,” he said. “I’m doing career exploration and educational opportunities, I’m keeping all doors open.”
Waupaca County Post correspondent Holly Neumann also contributed to this report