At a packed Rockford district headquarters, the school board votes 4 to 0, with two abstentions, not to ask for Supt. Dr. Dennis Thompson's resignation. One of those abstentions, Mike Williams, who claims Thompson verbally attacked him, says he's not ready to let this issue go.
"(Tuesday night), I'm saying I'm still willing to resolve it, and it's not going to end by the vote taken tonight, and we'll see if we really have leadership on board to try and get it resolved," Williams said.
Tuesday's special board meeting drew heated comments from those in support of both Thompson and Williams. While some board members complained of the circus-like atmosphere, board president Nancy Kalchbrenner defended the open session.
"I felt we needed to clear the air for the public, and the superintendent certainly was concerned and wanted to know if the board majority wanted his resignation or not so we established that tonight," Kalchbrenner said.
But while Thompson's vote of approval goes through, both the superintendent and Williams admit a serious rift remains.
"I've apologized for my remark even though it may have been an accurate characterization of a remark I've made. I've apologized for that, and we'll hopefully deal with it at some point in the future," Thompson said.
Any future meeting between Thompson and Williams could involve a third party mediator, which both say they'd consider. Other board members hope the drama in the board room will subside in order to improve the districts classrooms.
"This community cannot afford to go backwards we need to be moving ahead and moving together regardless of the color of skin one has," board member Alice Saudargas said.
This was the first time during Dr. Dennis Thompson’s 15 months as superintendent, that a board member asked for his resignation.
In 2003, the board voted to fire then Supt. Dr. Alan Brown.