MILLSTADT — The Millstadt School District 160 Board voted late Friday to not renew Principal Kevin Juhas' contract.
The board met for a special meeting to discuss Juhas' dismissal and remained in executive session for about four hours and 25 minutes. When the meeting reconvened, board President Kirk Caponi announced that Juhas' contract would not be renewed.
"We can't comment on the reason," Caponi said, when one of the approximately 25 people in attendance asked why the board was making this move.
Juhas has served as principal of the district's Millstadt Primary Center for the five years. His last day will be June 15.
"I'm stunned," Juhas said after the meeting. He declined to comment further.
District Superintendent Jonathan Green declined to comment.
According to a letter the board sent to Juhas last month, the board was not renewing his contract for the 2013-2014 school year.
Juhas' attorney, Brian Schwartz, said the board failed to produce any reasons for his client's dismissal.
"The contract said they had to give notice by March 22 with reasons," Schwartz said. "They gave him a letter on March 22 without any reasons. We believe that violates the contract. Apparently, the board does not. So you ask what are the reasons? There are no reasons."
Most of the public assembled at the meeting were in support of Juhas and said that the principal was great leader for their children.
One woman said she questioned Juhas was "non transparent" and questioned his policies. Kristi Johnston said that Juhas conducted police drills at school that traumatized her first-grade son.
"I think he should have been more transparent," Johnston said. "He should have let the parents know."
Gary Bach said he believed the board's actions were political.
"Somebody doesn't like him," Bach said. "He's a very powerful guy and everything he does is in the best interest of the kids all of the time. And I think there were people that just did not like that."
An argument ensued between Johnston and the rest of those in attendance followed after the school board left the meeting. A police officer responded to the scene, but the argument ended by the time police arrived.
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2526.