Northwestern superintendent leaves role in ‘mutual agreement’

Northwestern Superintendent Jesse Steiner has vacated his leadership role under a “mutual agreement” with the district that was called “in the best interest of all parties.”

According to a media release Tuesday night, Steiner now will serve the district as a consultant. An interim superintendent will serve until a new one is selected.

The decision “is not a result of any professional misconduct or impropriety,” according to the release.

>> Northwestern superintendent departure: Read the school board statement

“Mr. Steiner and the board reached the transition agreement amicably, which allows Mr. Steiner to provide services in a consulting role while pursuing other interests, and permits the board to seek hiring another superintendent,” the release reads.

The board conducted a special meeting Tuesday night, one called on Monday afternoon, and members unanimously approved the agreement and released the statement. Board members did not comment publicly about the agreement.

The school board will share more information on the search for a replacement superintendent soon, according to the release.

The statement does not clarify how long Steiner will serve as a consultant nor what he will be paid for the work.

The News-Sun has submitted a public records request for documentation on the agreement between the district and Steiner.

In early November, one week after the News-Sun filed a public records request for documents regarding Steiner’s work status and any potential complaints or investigations involving him, the district responded no such documents existed.

The board hired Steiner in June of 2015.

Steiner faced an investigation into his behavior in 2017 at Northwestern, in which he was accused of being verbally aggressive, intimidating and angry during his dealings with others on the job.

The former superintendent was put on leave in December 2017 and allowed to return the following February provided he undergo a comprehensive mental examination, anger management counseling and leadership training.

In July 2013 while superintendent at Hicksville Schools, the board president there wrote that he belittled staff in public.

“You show little interest in collaborating with the board or your staff … Often the staff feels bullied into doing things your way,” the letter to Steiner said.

While superintendent at Celina schools in December 2013, Steiner was viewed as “arrogant, unfriendly and abrasive,” according to a letter to the superintendent from Northwestern’s investigation in February 2018.

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