Students react to resignation

The Ames Community School District Superintendent, Ray Richardson, resigned Monday, Feb. 13 from his position. His resignation is effective June 30. Richardson was appointed superintendent of the district in 2002 and said he enjoyed his time in Ames. “It’s indeed been an honor and pleasure to have been superintendent of such a fine district,” Richardson said. “When I took this position several years ago, I began with a quote by Charles Dickens, that these are the best of times and the worst of times. I find that’s still appropriate for now.” Richardson believes that during his time working with Ames, much was done to benefit the community. “I think if there’s a careful review, at the end of the day, through it all, much was accomplished,” Richardson said. Ray Richardson resigned a full year before his contract ran out. The most controversial issue of his resignation has become the buy-out of his contract. Richardson will be paid approximately $180,000 for his salary plus benefits for the year of 2007. Up to $30,000 in health benefits will also be made available for him to use. Many members of the community are worried that to get the money needed for Richardson, it will have to be taken away from the children in the Ames district. All but one board member, Pat Brown, voted in favor of the resignation of Richardson. The board will begin searching for a new superintendent immediately. The Ames School Board has hired a Cedar Rapids consulting firm, Ray and Associates, Inc., to help this recruiting process. The search will cost an estimated $8,500. Students of Ames High seem to be split evenly into one of two categories in opinions towards the resignation of Ray Richardson. The first category being complete indifference to the subject and the second being it is a good move for the Ames Community School District. “I’m hoping now they will try harder to help schools before closing them. Opening Roosevelt back up would be very nice,” Sean Siberski said. Dennis Kuo agreed, “I feel it’s a pretty good move, a lot of people didn’t like him very much. Now we can hopefully put that behind us and move forward as a community.”