Mesa Public Schools Superintendent Ember Conley has officially resigned, leaving in her wake continuing mystery around the reasons for her non-disciplinary suspension by the Governing Board two weeks ago and around how much money she'll be paid from her three-year contract..
Following a three-hour executive session discussing her employment Monday, Dec. 2, the school board voted 4-1 during a special meeting to approve Conley’s resignation.
The board last month abruptly placed Conley on paid administrative leave, sparking speculation and unanswered questions among the community and district employees.
“The district is looking forward to getting accurate information out,” said board President Elaine Miner. “We look forward to moving forward.”
“We care about this district and we believe we are doing what is right,” she continued.
Conley was hired 18 months ago to replace Michael Cowan, who retired to accept a missionary call from his church.
Board member Kiana Sears was the lone vote against the decision, saying only that she disagreed with the “financial provision” of the Conley's departure agreement.
Although the board is still not disclosing the details surrounding the suspension and resignation, members indicated they will make the terms of its departure agreement with Conley available soon.
Conley’s original contract stated that she could receive hundreds of thousands of dollars if she were ever to be fired, but because she resigned, it is unclear what the district will pay.
Mesa associate superintendent Peter Lesar will fill in as the interim superintendent for the time being.
Lesar, who worked in the district for 32 years, said he is looking forward to stepping up to the plate.
“I’m inspired by the dedication and commitment of our leaders, teachers and support staff and look forward to working side-by-side with all of you,” said Lesar. “I am hopeful that my experience, established relationships and familiarity with the district will add stability during this transitional time."