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LISD board approves voluntary separation agreement with superintendent, appoints interim superintendent

The Levelland ISD Board of Trustees met Monday morning to consider the approval of a voluntary separation agreement with LISD Superintendent Jeff Northern.

The board spent more than an hour in executive session, consulting with the district’s attorney to discuss the superintendent’s employment agreement and related legal matters, and to consider entering a voluntary agreement with the superintendent.

The board also deliberated appointing an interim superintendent while in executive session.

Upon returning to open session, the board took action to approve entering into a voluntary separation agreement with the superintendent, amending the current fiscal year budget to account for any payment thereunder, and took action to appoint an interim superintendent, Kelly Baggett.

“We want to make it very clear that we expect Kelly Baggett to serve as interim only, and only until we can get a more permanent superintendent,” said Carrie Ellis, president of the LISD board. “We will be diligently searching for his replacement. To be clear on why we didn’t appoint an in-house superintendent, which might have been the logical answer, but we want a very transparent process, and to make it fair to all candidates, we appointed an external interim superintendent to be fair to all potential candidates coming in for that position.”

The district issued a statement following the meeting that said Jeff Northern has announced his resignation as superintendent for Levelland ISD. It said an agreement was reached that allows Northern the ability to pursue other interests and permits the board to pursue hiring another superintendent.

“The board and Mr. Northern have entered into the agreement believing it is in their respective best interests and in the best interests of the district,” the statement read.

“On behalf of the entire district, the board of trustees expresses its appreciation to Mr. Northern for his efforts while serving as superintendent of this great school district and its wonderful students, parents and administrators, and for the achievements and accomplishments of the entire district teams during Mr. Northern’s tenure as superintendent,” the statement continued.

“Mr. Northern thanks the present and past Board of Trustees for providing him with the opportunity to serve in the Levelland Independent School District,” the statement read. “A school district is measure by the commitment of the board, staff and community to its children and their achievement. This district is indeed so committed. Mr. Northern would like to express his heartfelt appreciation to the staff and community for their support of the district’s programs and services during his time as superintendent.”

Mr. Northern says that school success has been all about working together as a team, according to the district’s statement.

“I have been blessed to work with wonderful people at Levelland ISD. Our teachers, leadership team, and school board deserve all of the credit for working together as a team for the success of our students,” Northern said in the statement released by the district. “The district is in excellent shape and will continue to accomplish great things in the future.”

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Carrie Ellis, board president, recognized the superintendent for his ability to empower the district’s staff to achieve higher levels of student performance, district-wide.

“Success requires hard work, dedication, leadership and vision,” Ellis said in the statement by the district. “The board and Mr. Northern wish to acknowledge and recognize the teachers, principals, administrators, staff, students, parents and patrons who have all contributed to the district’s success.”

“The board extends its best wishes to Mr. Northern in his future endeavors. On its part, the board will soon begin its search for a new superintendent as to not disrupt the district’s operations,” the statement by the district concluded.


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