Lee's Summit Schools Superintendent Dennis Carpenter, who battled with the school board to bring a diversity and equity training plan to the district, has resigned.
Both Carpenter, through his attorney, and the district released statements Wednesday to announce the resignation, which comes after Carpenter's second full year at the helm and with one year left on his contract.
Carpenter had been superintendent of the neighboring Hickman Mills School District before he was named Lee's Summit's superintendent in January 2017. He will be paid a total of $750,000, partially funded by district insurance, under an agreement reached in mediation, the district said.
The full agreement, which includes provisions for both sides to not discuss the negotiations, will be released once signed by Carpenter and the board president, the district said.
In its statement, the board said it “remains committed to the work of our approved equity plan and the components of the plan.”
Carpenter had pushed for equity training after the district identified an achievement gap, and the board initially rejected his proposed plan before going through mediation with Carpenter and reversing its decision last month in a 6-1 vote. Also during Carpenter's tenure, the district developed an early college program and a facilities master plan that included boundary changes that will shift several hundred students this coming school year
In Carpenter's statement he said his resignation came after “several days of deep reflection about the long-term best interests of the children of the district and the difficult emotions regarding how to effectively enhance the learning and lives of all children.”
Emily Miller, who was assistant superintendent of operations this past school year and assistant superintendent of special services six years prior, will be acting superintendent.
The district statement ended by saying, in part, “We acknowledge the last several months have been difficult with a range of emotions involved, but we now we are up for the challenge before us to push into the future together.”