© 2022 KLCC

KLCC
136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401
541-463-6000
klcc@klcc.org

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Newberg school board votes to fire superintendent, no cause given

The Newberg school board is seen meeting over Zoom on Nov. 9, 2021. Screenshot taken from YouTube.
Newberg Public Schools Board of Directors
/
The Newberg school board is seen meeting over Zoom on Nov. 9, 2021. Screenshot taken from YouTube.

The Newberg school board voted to fire its superintendent, Joe Morelock, during a meeting Tuesday night.

Four board members voted to terminate Morelock, who was under contract through June 2024. Those in favor did not give a cause for the termination. The same four board members voted in September to push through a high-profile ban on political symbols, including Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ Pride flags.

The dissenting board members said the move to fire Morelock, coupled with litigation over that controversial ban, could have a grave financial impact on the district. Board member Brandy Penner said the decision will set the district back several years. “We will be losing a leader who has pulled us out of financial ruin, who has rebuilt community, who has rebuilt relationships,” she said. “In the matter of three months, four people have completely destroyed that.”

The superintendent’s cabinet of administrators issued a statement saying it was “shocked and dismayed” after the sudden vote. Additionally, the Newberg teachers’ union said it was another example of a board majority “bringing instability” to the district’s schools.

Morelock did not comment during the vote, but said afterward, “Just remember from the darkest dark comes the brightest light. So everything will work out eventually.”

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Jeff Thompson