The final chapter of the Dr. Tammy Lupardus administration as Superintendent of Mexico Public Schools appears to have come to a close. KXEO broke the news on May 18, 2020, that Lupardus had been put on administrative leave. KXEO news has obtained a copy of the separation agreement and release between the Mexico Public Schools and Dr. Lupardus.
She was hired as the Superintendent of the Mexico School District in February of 2020 to replace the departed Dr. Zach Templeton, who retired in June of that year.
Lupardus was one of three finalists brought to the Mexico Board of Education by the search firm of Missouri Association of Rural Educators. Cost to the school of the search was $5,500. She was then chosen as the finalist by the acting Board of Education.
Dr. Lupardus started her duties on July 1st, 2020. After her January 2021 performance review, she was offered a three-year contract extension for the 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 school years at a salary of one hundred thirty thousand dollars per year.
After defections in the school administration began to mount, the board began in inquiry and Lupardus was then suspended by the school system, and entered into a separation agreement on June 9th, 2021. She later announced through the school that she is retiring.
The separation agreement states it is the intention of the parties to end her employment with the district, and although she will have no duties with the district her effective retirement date is set for November 30th, 2022. Until that time she will continue to receive the salary and benefits provided in her employment contract. Such payments will be made on regular paydays and direct deposited into her account.
In return, Lupardus has agreed to not enter into any suit, action, or other claim or demand against the district.
In the meantime, Melissa Chastain has been named the Interim-Superintendent of the Mexico Public Schools for the 2021-2022 school year and will consult with former Mexico Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Zach Templeton, regarding finances and budget for the upcoming school year.
Statements were released from then Board President Dustin Pascoe and Board Vice-President Heather DeMint, who were serving in the positions at the time Dr. Lupardus was hired, stating during her time with the Mexico Public School District, in-seat education and extracurricular activities continued during COVID-19. Dr. Lupardus was credited with a resurgence of the Professional, Development Committee through empowerment of CTA. She also was said to be a strong certificated administrator and made improvements in the financial health of the district through increases in both fund balance and bond savings.
While Dr. Lupardus was serving as Superintendent seven Mexico School District administrators, and an administrative assistant, left the district.
Resigning members of the Mexico School District since November, 2020:
- Amber Henderson, District Business Office Manager
- Marci Minor, District Communications Director
- John Kitchens, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction
- Deb Haag, Mexico Middle School Principal
- Kerri Ferrari, Mexico Education Center Director
- Travis Blevins, Mexico High School Activities Director and Assistant Principal
- Amber Crane, Eugene Field Principal
- Lorraine Allen, Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent at Central Office