Superintendent Buckey ‘early termination’ controversy timeline

The following is a timeline of events leading up to the Superintendent John Buckey’s departure on August 2.

July 2020

Buckey hired

School Committee hires Dr. John Buckey as superintendent, following Maryann Perry and interim Bill McAlduff.

July 2021

Contract extended

School Committee gives Buckey a “proficient” rating on his performance review and extends his contract for another two years, until 2025. The vote is 4-1 with Sarah Fox dissenting. (Fox is now the committee chair.)

June 2022

Buckey receives raise

School Committee approves 2.5% raise for Buckey following a “proficient” performance review rating. Vote is 4-1, with Fox the lone dissenter.

Spring / summer 2022

Ota leaves Glover

Brian Ota’s contract as Glover School principal is not renewed.

Summer 2022

Ota files discrimination complaint

Ota files a complaint against Buckey with Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

June 6, 2023

Buckey rated “proficient”

 School Committee votes 5-0 to give Buckey a “proficient” rating on his performance review.

June 20, 2023

Ota and Schaeffner elected

Ota and Jenn Schaeffner are elected to the School Committee.

June 22, 2023

Ota files possible conflict of interest report

Ota files “possible appearance of conflict of interest” report with town clerk immediately after being sworn in.

June 29, 2023

School Committee meeting

New School Committee meets for the first time.

July 21, 2023

First executive session

School Committee holds executive session with the district’s attorney to discuss Buckey’s contract. Ota recuses himself, after checking with state Ethics Commission.

July 24, 2023

Public meeting scheduled

The School Committee scheduled a Zoom meeting for Wednesday evening, July 26, with the agenda item “Superintendent Contract – Early Termination Clause”.

July 26, 2023

One-minute meeting

After less than one minute, the School Committee adjourns a virtual meeting with more than 235 people tuned in to discuss Buckey’s early termination, citing advice of counsel.

July 26, 2023

Police respond to report of balloon

Police respond to a report of a balloon (with eyes and a mustache drawn on it) tied to the residence of a School Committee member. Police Chief King says the incident is not necessarily related to the recent events.

July 27, 2023

Cresta announced as supt. designee

School Committee Chair Sarah Fox sends an email to district directors stating that Assistant Superintendent of Finance Michelle Cresta has been named the superintendent designee.

July 31, 2023

Second executive session held

The School Committee held another executive session (closed to the public) to discuss Buckey’s contract. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., the meeting was adjourned to executive session about a minute later, with Ota again recusing himself.

Aug. 2, 2023

Buckey/School Committee announce his departure

School Committee Chair Sarah Fox releases a joint statement with John Buckey announcing his departure. The SC will pay Buckey nearly $175K.

Aug. 11, 2023

Separation agreement ratified

“Out of an abundance of caution” and to ensure it was complying with the state’s Open Meeting Law, the School Committee votes to ratify its separation agreement with Buckey. The vote comes after the board is subjected to an hour of largely critical public comments during its first public meeting since the superintendent controversy began.

Sept. 1, 2023

School Committee, acting super hand over some texts, emails

Prompted by a Current public records request, School Committee members and acting Superintendent Michelle Cresta released 250+ pages of texts and emails related to Buckey’s departure. However, some texts are missing. Cresta, Fox, Schaeffner and Taylor say they (or, in Fox’s case, her child) deleted additional texts.

Sept. 19, 2023

State orders super, SC members to try and find deleted texts

Respnding to an appeal filed by the Current, the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth orders Cresta, Fox, Schaeffner and Taylor to try and retrieve their deleteted texts, giving them 10 business days to do so.

Read letters to the editor the Current has received on this topic.

+ posts

Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: