It was standing room only as members of the community came out in support of one of their own.
During the regular meeting of the Clay Community School Board of Trustees, Thursday, the board voted 5-0 to renew the administration contracts of Technology Department Employee John Boyce, Director of Curriculum and Grants Kathy Knust, Technology Department Employee Jason Pell and Linking Education to Adults, Adolescents and Preschoolers (LEAAP) Center Coordinator Mary Yelton.
Board members Dottie King and Jennifer Kaelber were not present.
Not included in the list was Building and Grounds Director Tom Reberger.
"I have concern for the position of Tom Reberger," community member Glen Williams said. "He has gone above and beyond the realm of regular duties."
Williams commented on Rebergers' dedication to his job and to the schools and students within the Clay Community School Corporation.
"I am deeply disappointed by the decision of the board to not renew (Reberger's) contract," former CCSC Superintendent and Brazil High School Principal Jesse Pitts said. "I have known Tom Reberger since he began teaching math at Brazil High School. To not renew his contract would deny the school corporation of a truly dedicated man."
Many were perplexed with the possibility of Reberger not being offered another contract when the corporation is in the middle of a multi-million dollar building renovation project.
"He knows the job inside and out," Williams said. "I really think this is a great mistake and disservice to the taxpayer. I hope you will consider keeping him."
One member of the community commented on the number of days left before school starts.
"School is only a few days away. Is this really the right time to do this? I don't think so," John Brush said. "He has done the job for 20 years and he has been with the corporation for 40 years. I've known him for 32 years and no matter what capacity he has had, he has given 100 percent."
Though the board is considering not renewing his contract, at one point during the meeting Reberger was asked by Supt. Dan Schroeder to answer questions the board had regarding a possible bill in conjunction with a building in CCSC.
"Tom has been loyal to the corporation and now we should support him," Brush said. "As a taxpayer, thank you Tom Reberger for your years of dedication, but most importantly to the students of Clay County."
However at the end of the meeting, Reberger was not the only administrator without a contract. Personnel, Data and Food Service Director Carolyn Kumpf, Director of Extended Service Rhonda Lawrence, Technology Director Bill Milner, Transportation Director Frank Misner and Business Manager Mike Fowler were not given a contract renewal.
"I will not base a decision on rumors and I would appreciate the respect of the community," board member Tina Heffner said. "I want more time in executive session."
It was explained to the audience that the administrators not approved for the contract renewal were receiving a cash stipend instead of using the corporation's health insurance plan.
"I am not going to make a decision based on emotion," board member Ron Scherb said. "I hope you understand we are going to work through this as a business before we make a decision."