Clark turns down BOE offer

Published 9:13 pm Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Demopolis High School principal Leon Clark will not return next year after declining to sign a contract extension Wednesday.

“I do not feel I can sign my contract as written,” Clark said in a prepared statement given to The Demopolis Times Wednesday evening. “I have no further comment regarding it.”

The Demopolis City Schools Board of Education offered Clark a three-year extension Monday, an offer that reportedly kept his annual salary at $95,000 but made him eligible for raises as awarded by the State of Alabama.

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Board attorney Alex Braswell indicated at the time of the offer that Clark had until 4 p.m. Wednesday to either accept or reject the proposed contract, which also included what he characterized as minor modifications. Those modifications, the contents of which have not been disclosed to The Times, were reportedly enough to keep the document void of Clark’s signature.

“I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work with the Demopolis City School System (the board, parents, students, faculty, staff and schools) who work exceptionally hard to make Demopolis an outstanding educational system,” Clark’s statement continued. “I also appreciated the booster clubs and the volunteers who help in so many ways to ensure the success of our sports activities and our band. The business leaders have done a great job supporting our school system in general, sports activities, JROTC, theatre activities and our business clubs (DECA and FBLA).”

Clark arrived in Demopolis in July 2009 as the successor to former DHS principal Dr. Isaac Espy. Clark’s original three-year deal expires in June. He reportedly informed Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Al Griffin of his contract declination after Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

“My wife and I have been accepted into Demopolis and we appreciate the people in this community,” Clark furthered. “Our original plans were to retire in Demopolis, but you know the Lord doesn’t ask us to understand why things happen, but to trust him in all things — and we do.”

The Demopolis Board of Education plans to hold a special called meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday to discuss the Demopolis High School principal position.