FOWLER, Ind. (WLFI) - It was made official Tuesday night. The vote was unanimous. Benton Community Schools Corporation Superintendent Destin Haas can leave his job for another at any time. If he leaves by the end of the month, he will get a $25,000 payout from the corporation. Either way, the contract ends next summer.
After an hour-long hearing last week, Tuesday's vote took much less than that. From open to close, it took just over two minutes. Haas left just seconds later.
"I think they are making a bad decision, but that's my opinion," said former student Jodi Salla.
For Salla, the vote is personal. She says Haas was a blessing to her family several months ago when her father found out that he had cancer.
"My family was in need. He helped us get things. He's always helped my family. There's other families that I know he helped with, seriously amazing," said Salla.
An estimated 90 people gathered in the bus barn Tuesday night, filling up all the chairs set out with standing room only in the back.
"I'm just disappointed because what is the reason? Really does it merit changing his contract?" said parent and substitute teacher Lelia Jozwiak.
School Board President Mike Souligne continued to decline to comment about the reasons for the contract change.
"It's not appropriate for me to comment on that. They are employment issues, I'm not able to comment on them," said Souligne.
He added the board hasn't discussed what will happen if Haas leaves the district. But options include promoting an interim superintendent or contracting out while a search is underway for a replacement.
"As a school corporation board, we obviously feel like we are acting in the best interest of the students and the school corporation. That's the case with all the decisions we make," said Souligne.
But after Tuesday night's decision, it sounds like the bus barn may be needed as a meeting place more often to accommodate the crowd.
"I will certainly be following things more closely because of all of this going on underneath my nose. I haven't made time to come to the meetings, but I'm certainly going to be paying more attention," said Jozwiak. "I'm just disappointed, very disappointed."
Destin Haas declined comment to News 18 Tuesday.
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