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Shook responds to OEA investigation

Through her attorney, McCreary County Board of Education member Roxanne Shook has issued her own response to the Office of Educational Accountability investigation into possible wrongdoing by the Board.

Claiming she was never consulted in regard to the official response forwarded by the Board in November, Shook opted to submit her own response through her attorney Larry Bryson and offers a few differing opinions on the findings.

The response opens with an assertion that neither she nor the Board as a whole had input into the official response submitted by attorney Michael Owlsey.

“It is important that the OEA be aware that Mrs. Shook was never contacted in any manner by anyone to respond to the preliminary report of the OEA,” the response states. “Mrs. Shook states that the McCreary County Board did not at any time take formal action to approve the formal response and did not meet with Mr. Owsley to supply responses as a Board at any time.”

It further contends Shook contacted Owlsey after the initial response was filed to determine how the “Board’s” response was formed. She was reportedly told Acting Superintendent Mike Cash and Board Chairman Brandon Kidd were the only individuals responsible for supplying the information.

It also offers contrasting information regarding allegations in the final report that the Board violated the law for failing to use district resources for the promotion of public education and usurping the statutory authority of the superintendent.

The first issue concerns the enrollment at the McCreary Academy during discussions on the possibility of moving the Academy back to the Middle School fro the High School.

The official “Board” response stated the enrollment at the alternative school was 86, not 34, when questioned.

Shook references a Feasibility Study offered to the Board during a December 18, 2014 meeting that stated the average daily attendance for the school from June 30, 2014 to December 1, 2014 never rose above 35.6 in that time span.

The second point centers around the non-renewal of the contract between the Pine Knot Job Corps and the McCreary County School District.

The “Board” response asserted the Board did not vote to end the agreement, and provided a copy of an email showing the Job Corps chose to not renew.

Shook states the Board was not given a chance to discuss the possibility of renewing the agreement after Superintendent Wright received an email from the Job Corps representative regarding an “open dialogue,” as Chairman Kidd never placed the item on the agenda for consideration.

She further contends the “Board” ignored evidence that the Job Corps was a revenue producing entity for the District, and attached an email from Assistant Superintendent Aaron Anderson as evidence, where he stated he was looking for ways to offset the loss of income from the loss of the program.

The response also states Shook voted against the tentative budget and moving the academy.

It is unclear what bearing the response will have since the OEA investigation has already been completed and sent to the Kentucky Department of Education for possible action.

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