School Board President Brian Kirby said Tuesday that an election forum for Board of Education candidates was not the appropriate setting to discuss the job performance of KCPS Superintendent Barbara Wheeler—or whether she deserves to have her contract renewed.
“For me to sit at a public forum and say whether I think she is a good leader or not—I don’t think is proper, and I‘d rather not do that,” Kirby said.
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Kirby was the only candidate of three to address a question on the effectiveness of Wheeler’s leadership.
Newcomer candidate Nivek Johnson and school board Vice President Bryan Williams remained silent on the question as Kirby appeared to speak for all the candidates on the fairness of the question.
“I think this is a tough forum for us to be put on the spot to say whether she is going to come back or not going to come back,” Kirby said at the League of Women Voters candidate forum at the Kent Library. “I just don’t think it is a fair question for us to answer. It’s not that it is not a good question. Obviously she is still the superintendent and she was doing a good enough job for our last board to continue her contract for four years.”
The school board does an annual evaluation of the school superintendent—the only position in the school system under the board’s control.