New Bloomfield schools part ways with Superintendent Small, agree to drop charges

The New Bloomfield School Board agreed to drop its charges against former Superintendent Christopher Small in exchange for his immediate resignation, a formal records request by the Fulton Sun reveals.

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Chris Small

The records request, made under terms of Missouri’s Sunshine Law, included the minutes of the special meeting’s executive session of the board on Jan. 26.

Records shows that the board voted unanimously in closed session to approve a written separation agreement between the New Bloomfield R-III School District and Dr. Small.

Voting to accept the resignation agreement were School Board President Leroy Wade and board members Susan Bedsworth, Suzie Mattern, Shawn Cockrum, Terri Sweeten, Gracia Backer and Kathy Becker.

The Fulton Sun also obtained a copy of the separation agreement.

The six-page document shows the board agreed to pay Small his full salary from the time he was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 16, 2010, until his resignation at the end of the day on Jan. 26, 2011.

The board also agreed to “withdraw the Statement of Charges currently pending against Dr. Small.”

Wade and the board have declined to discuss the nature of the board’s charges against Small.

The board also agreed:

• Not to seek the revocation or suspension of Dr. Small’s license to serve as a superintendent, administrator or teacher in the schools of Missouri.

• To remove from Dr. Small’s personnel file the Statement of Charges that were then pending against him.

• All employment inquiries from potential employers of Dr. Small shall be directed to the district’s board of education president. Upon receiving such employment inquiry the person who holds the position of board president at the time of the inquiry will verbally confirm Dr. Small’s employment only as follows:

“a) Dr. Christopher Small was employed as Superintendent of the New Bloomfield R-3 School District from July 1, 2009, through Jan. 26, 2011.

b) Dr. Small requested to resign his employment effective at the end of the day on Jan. 26, 2011, and the board of education accepted his resignation.”

• Dr. Small is eligible for continuation of health insurance coverage at his own expense, in accordance with federal law.

• Dr. Small will be permitted to enter school property in order to attend district events and to engage in education-related activities in the same manner as parents of other district students and he must follow all normal visitor policies and procedures.

Both the board and Small agreed that “no actions by either party, either previously or in connection with the agreement, shall be deemed or construed to be an admission or acknowledgment of any wrongdoing or of any liability for any claim, demand or action.”

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