Morgenthal to begin at EIS on Nov. 17

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By Kelly Richardson


By KELLY RICHARDSON krichardson@thenewsenterprise.com

ELIZABETHTOWN — Dr. Jayne Risen Morgenthal will begin her position as superintendent of Elizabethtown Independent Schools on Nov. 17.

Morgenthal is finishing up work with her leadership consultant business out-of-state, which is why she wasn’t in attendance at this past Thursday’s board meeting, where the board voted to hire her, she said.

She has been working with Interim Superintendent Bill Twyman and Nicki Clark, the secretary to the superintendent, to prepare for the transition, she said.

She has signed a copy of her contract with the district, which was faxed to the board, since she is out-of-state, but said she will be signing a copy in person as well.

Morgenthal, who began her teaching career at EIS, said she was “delighted” that she was offered the superintendent position, and had felt very confident about it.

“I have worked very hard to prepare myself to return” to the district, she said.

Morgenthal seems ready to get to work, citing goals of raising test scores, adding rigor to the curriculum, becoming acquainted with the workings of Central Office and working with each board member.

She asks “the community to stand behind me and give me their full support on behalf of their children, grandchildren and just the youth of the community at large.”

Thursday’s board meeting showed that there are many members of the district who support the hiring of Gary French, EIS director of student services, who was a final candidate being considered by the board for the position.

Board members Guy Wallace and Paul Godfrey made a motion to hire French at the meeting, which failed with a vote of 2 to 3, and they voted against hiring Morgenthal. Newly-elected board member Tony Kuklinski, who will be taking Board Chairwoman Regina Churchill’s seat, also voiced support for French at the meeting.

Morgenthal said superintendents have, in many cases, come to a district without everyone’s support.

“I think that’s a proving ground,” she said.

Morgenthal said the unfortunate repercussion of the heated meeting is that news of it spreads across the state.

“What they say does not hurt me, Jayne Morgenthal, it hurts EIS,” she said.

She hopes people will get to know her, and she can provide stability in the district. She plans to be in the district for the long-term, she said.

“I am not going to be run away,” she said.   Kelly Richardson can be reached at (270) 505-1747.