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Negotiations have officially begun in solidifying a new superintendent at Neligh-Oakdale Public Schools.
Two candidates were interviewed tonight - Lee Sayer of Firth and Bill Kuester of Neligh - to replace Kimberly Lingenfelter, who resigned effective June 30, 2015. The Board of Education entered into executive session at 8:50 p.m. and exited at 9:40 p.m.
No discussion followed executive session. Krista Schindler immediately made a motion to allow board president David Wright "to enter into negotiations with the number one candidate." Ryan Koinzan seconded the motion, which was followed by a 6-0 roll call vote.
The "number one candidate" was not disclosed to the public.
The only item on the agenda sent to media with the meeting notice was to interview the candidates and no public comment was allowed. Immediately following the meeting while all board members were at the table, a copy of the meeting's agenda was requested by the Antelope County News. Board members stated they did not have an agenda with them. When asked if the agenda had been updated prior to the meeting, board members said it had not. There was no motion at the beginning of the meeting to amend the agenda.
The special meeting began at 7 p.m. with both candidates interviewed separately. Sayer's interview was at 7 p.m. while Kuester's was at 8 p.m. The same questions were asked of both candidates by the same board members, but only one candidate was publicly asked if he had questions for board members.
Kuester was given the opportunity to publicly ask board members questions and did so for roughly 15 minutes. The board did not ask Sayer during his interview if he had questions for the board. Board members remembered that they should have done that and ran out of the room to find Sayer before he left Neligh.
Vice president Brad Higgins told the board during discussions after both interviews that Wright ran and caught up with Sayer and did ask if he wanted to return to the interview to ask the board questions publicly. Higgins said Sayer declined returning to the meeting. Wright did not comment about his discussion with Sayer.
Video of both candidate interviews will be available online Friday morning.