Dusso resigns early from Lyle

The Lyle Public School board unanimously approved Superintendent and Principal Jim Dusso’s Feb. 29 resignation at Monday’s meeting, but not without one more heated discussion between Dusso and board member Dan King.

Dusso and King exchanged words when King questioned the district’s financial reports. In the past months, King has been in contact with his attorney regarding his rights as a board member, feeling his rights have been violated.

King asked the board why the district accrued $9,576 in legal fees; however, Dusso said nearly $8,000 of that was because of King’s decision “to bring litigation” against the district, causing the district to pay its own attorneys. King disagreed and said he never threatened litigation but simply sent a letter to the district.

“Have you threatened the district with litigation?” Dusso repeatedly asked King. “Yes or no?”

King continuously replied that he never threatened litigation, as no legal proceedings ever took place. King mentioned he simply sent a letter and never threatened to take the district to court.

“I think we wasted a lot of money,” King said about the legal fees.

Dusso replied, “I would respond by saying you wasted a lot of money.”

The search for a new administrator

Dusso mentioned last month he would hold his position until June for the sake of the students before moving to Kentucky to be with his wife, but he then set his resignation much earlier.

Dusso refused to comment after the meeting; however, recently sworn board chairman Jerry Sampson mentioned Dusso sold his home much earlier than he anticipated, which prompted the early resignation.

Many local residents indicated they are relieved Dusso is leaving, as that may ease some of the tension that has surrounded the district in the previous months. However, many others don’t want to see Dusso leave.

“I think it’s a loss for the district,” said Lyle School social worker Stephanie Emanuel. “I don’t think the community realizes what direction they are going.”

Because Dusso’s departure is quickly approaching, the board set an open meeting for 6:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss hiring an interim principal and superintendent. From there, it is unclear who the future administrator, or administrators, will be.

“We want to take our time to find a (full-time) replacement,” Sampson said.

Sampson said the district has one individual in mind, but to be fair to potential applicants, board members aren’t releasing a name at this time.

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