Monroe superintendent, school board reach termination agreement

FORSYTH -- The Monroe County school board voted Saturday morning to accept an agreement to cut ties with Superintendent Anthony Pack.

No terms were discussed, but the agreement is effective immediately. The board also voted to name Mike Hickman, an assistant superintendent, to serve as interim superintendent.

Pack, who was superintendent for seven years, has been on medical leave for more than two months.

In a statement issued in March, Pack said he was under investigation for allegedly using school-issued devices to participate in “an online site geared toward male relationships.” He announced he was gay, but denied any wrongdoing.

Pack surrendered his work computer, phone and tablet to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for examination.

“I have fully complied with the board’s requests that these pieces of technology be thoroughly analyzed and look forward to a report from the sheriff’s department that my private life is indeed my private life, and not a public spectacle nor an abuse of public equipment or services,” Pack said in the statement.

When asked after the meeting about the reason for the cutting ties with Pack, Assistant Superintendent Jackson Daniel said “It was just time to move on.”

He would not discuss terms of the agreement, but he said that they may become available Monday after the deal is finalized.

Monroe County’s school year ended Friday.

Daniel said the investigation into Pack is not complete, but the latest report is that no criminal activity has been found.

The board voted 5-0 to approve the agreement following a closed meeting that lasted about 30 minutes. Board of Education Chairman J. Ray Grant Jr. was absent due to having undergone a heart procedure. Board members said he is fine.

Acting in his place was Vice Chairman James Evans, who declined comment after the meeting other than to say the board is in no rush to name a permanent superintendent.

The separation cites the “no cause” provision of the contract, meaning the board is not citing a cause for terminating the contract.

A previously prepared statement issued after the vote praised Pack’s leadership of the school system, noting that it has been “among the highest performing in Georgia” during his tenure.

“Mr. Pack has always placed the best interest of the students at the forefront of the school system,” Grant said in the release. “His efforts have been reflected in the success of our students and our schools. For that we are and continue to be most appreciative.”

Neither Pack nor his attorney, David Dorer, was at the meeting. But when contacted afterward, Dorer said it was an amicable separation. He was not sure of Pack’s plans but said he expects Pack will continue his career in education in some manner.

“Mr. Pack is very proud of his seven years of service to the Monroe County Board of Education,” Dorer said. “There has been no finding by the board that Mr. Pack abused his professional position.”

Dorer said he could not speak to the motivations as to why the board took the action, but he said Pack had intended to return to his job. Dorer also said he could not elaborate on the terms of the agreement because that was negotiated by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Hickman currently serves as assistant superintendent for middle and high school curriculum and personnel. He previously served five years as principal of Monroe County Middle School. He is a 1984 graduate of Mary Persons High School and a lifelong resident of Monroe County, according to the release.

Hickman, Daniels and Angie Dillon, also an assistant superintendent, have jointly led the school system while Pack has been on leave.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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