“We look forward to seeing them all working together,” Smith said. “I just want to make sure that everyone knows that we are in full support of all three of them.”
Lawrence said he is excited to move into the new position. He said his replacement at Northmont has already been chosen and his official resignation will be Sept. 23.
“I’m excited to come back to be an advocate for the community,” Lawrence said. “The title was business manager, but I would just say somebody here to meet the needs of families and also the education component. All the pieces matter.”
Lawrence was a candidate for superintendent in 2016, but the school board hired former superintendent Rhonda Corr instead. Lawrence was later paid $200,000 to leave his position in the district after his role was severely diminished.
Corr was placed on administrative leave, and departed DPS under a separation agreement in January 2018. Elizabeth Lolli, who had been assistant superintendent under Corr, was eventually promoted to replace her.
The business manager position has been controversial. At a meeting on July 13, Pickett accused other board members of creating the position with a specific person in mind.
“But the actions that we take, even if they are with good intentions, we need to be clear so that we don’t run the risk of favoring one’s friends when seeking employment in the district,” Pickett said. “And if we were to do that, we will deeply affect the trust given to us when we were elected to serve the people.”
Rhynard said she was disappointed in the way the job posting was pushed through and how the board did not seek public input in the decision.
“How was holding these discussions in any way open and encouraging involvement in the decision-making process by the public?” Rhynard said at a July 26 meeting.