HARVEY | The Thornton Township High School District 205 Board of Education spent nearly three hours meeting in closed session Monday in an effort to resolve the dispute of former Superintendent John Thomas, who officially was dismissed from his post last month.
Under legal procedures, Thomas has the right to challenge his dismissal with a hearing before the board. That hearing occurred Monday.
A motion to either uphold or revoke Thomas’ termination was not voted on.
School Board President Kenneth Williams said he expects the superintendent situation to be resolved in the near future — possibly at the School Board’s next scheduled meeting Sept. 11.
The board met in a special session Monday at Thornton High School, where Thomas walked back and forth down the halls from the room where the board met and in a room set up for his attorneys.
Of the three-hour long hearing, only eight minutes of Monday night’s session were held in public.
During the public portion of the meeting, Felita Crayton — the spouse of school board member Edward Crayton — tried asking questions to get officials to say on the record what they were planning to do Monday; only to have the school district’s attorney, Frank Garrett III, refuse to answer them.
Garrett also declined to answer media questions following the session.
Thomas left prior to the end of the meeting.
School Board member Bernadette Lawrence — who in the past has been supportive of Thomas — said officials were “just about to reach an agreement” with the former superintendent. She did not offer specifics.
She said a gag order had been placed upon her, and Williams himself cut off her comments on the issue.
Thomas was hired by the high school district in June 2012 from the Carver Military Academy to a three-year contract, following a nine-month search after longtime Superintendent Kamala Buckner resigned in 2011. School Board members, led by Williams, voted to remove him after only one year on the job.