Lee County, Va. Superintendent’s contract not renewed by board, slated to end June 2021

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LEE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL)- Lee County, Virginia school superintendent Brian Austin told News Channel 11 the school board decided not to renew his contract at a meeting Thursday night.

Austin said his contract is still in effect until through June 2021.

Austin told News Channel 11 that he was expecting to have further conversations with board members regarding his contract, including whether the board might buy it out.

Board vice chair Mike Kidwell said he and Rob Hines both voted to keep and renew Austin’s contract. Board chair Vera Ely, Nancy Garrett and Garry Williams all voted to not renew Austin’s contract.

Kidwell said he was “very disappointed by the way this happened.”

Hines also told News Channel 11 that it was “baffling because (Austin)’s done a really good job” and that it was a terrible thing to happen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both men said that Austin was never given an evaluation by the board during 2020. The currently-seated board has been in place since January 2020.

Kidwell said he is in support of the board buying out Austin’s contract, and that it wouldn’t be fair to Austin to have to stay somewhere he wasn’t wanted.

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