Western Report: Galena School superintendent announces his retirement

According to a memo regarding an agenda item for the July 26 meeting of the Galena School Board from Superintendent Dennis Dunton to the Galena School Board members, Dunton said he will be retiring at the end of the 2006-2007 school year. This will no doubt be welcome news to the more than 250 Galena School District parents and teachers who packed the Galena High School gym a few months ago to protest Dunton’s firing of Galena Primary School principal Doug McArthur.

While originally voting to back the Superintendent’s decision, the School Board eventually reversed itself, and McArthur was not fired. As a result of the initial firing by Dunton, deep battle lines were drawn, and many in the District welcome Dunton’s decision to retire.

Also presented in this memo to the Board was Dunton’s suggestion that the Board get right to the task of looking for his replacement. So, as has been his style (Dunton usually writes out the motions he wants the School Board to make, but in this case he just suggested), the superintendent told the Board he took the liberty of contacting four search firms to obtain cost proposals for the search for the new superintendent…his replacement.

During the meeting, Dunton offered to review each proposal and highlight the strengths of each bidder. As the discussion went on, and before the Board voted to table any further action, Dunton admitted to being affiliated with three of the four firms he contacted.

Now that would be an interesting turn of events, considering Dunton’s lack of admirers in the district. He could actually have a hand in finding his own replacement, and, being affiliated with the successful bidder for the search contract, Dunton might just be able to hand-pick his successor. His legacy could live on.

John Huschik is a free-lance writer from Galena and covers the Jo Daviess County political scene.

From the Aug. 16-22, 2006, issue

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