The Kewaunee School District Board of Education has decided they are not offering a contract extension to popular high school principal Mark Dax, who had recently offered his letter of resignation, though many district parents and students had been pushing for him to stay in the position.
The board made the decision at a special meeting Tuesday night at Kewaunee High School, saying, “The Board has considered whether it should offer another administrative contract to Mr. Dax. Based on all of the facts and circumstances, and considering all of the components of a principal’s job, we are unable to extend a contract at this time and will honor his previous resignation that was offered and accepted by the board.”
It was perhaps a surprising turn of events after more than 20 people – students, parents, and community members – spoke about Dax during the meeting’s public forum. Every single one of them urged the district to keep him.
The meeting was held in the school’s auditorium, which was packed to the point of making the event standing room only. The board heard the public comments after they returned from a closed session meeting. Dax was described in glowing terms by everyone who commented, many speaking about his efforts to build personal relationships with students, some calling him the best principal the school has ever had, and one commenter bluntly telling the school board that the members who want Dax terminated should be terminated themselves.
Additionally, one parent, Kate Kinjerski, turned in a petition signed by over 500 adults and 100 students urging the district to try to retain Dax.
She told Local 5 she was shocked by the board’s decision to not extend Dax’s contract.
“It’s a very sad day for this school,” Kinjerski said. “This man has given everything to this community. Everything.”
What wasn’t discussed at the meeting was Dax’s reasons for resigning. Local 5’s Justin Razavi asked the school board about that, but they declined to comment.
District officials say Dax’s contract expires at the end of this school year.