Fired Atwater Superintendent rehired


Superintendent Melinda Hennes is preparing for another school year at the Atwater Elementary School District. However, the start of this school year is especially meaningful for Hennes because it almost didn't happen.

"It's very difficult to understand the conditions in which that decision was made," Hennes said. "I'm actually as surprised to be returning as I was to be leaving."

After seven years on the job and after she says she received a positive evaluation, Henness was fired at a May board meeting. But after an uprising in the educational community, the board voted again with a narrow decision to place Hennes back in her top spot.

"No," Hennes said. "Even months later, it's still a mystery and I guess I could make myself crazy trying to figure it out."

Hennes still has little answers, but she is focusing on the creating a positive school environment for all.

"I have every confidence coming back even though there is obviously a split in their support in me personally, that they will put the needs of the students first," Hennes explained.

She says after taking some time off, she has realized that the best thing everyone can do is put the rift aside in order to help students succeed.

Hennes said, "We see now an opportunity to be whole again and to move forward."

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