HONEA PATH, (WSPA)- The Anderson School District 2 Board voted 4-2 st a special called meeting Thursday to remove its superintendent, Dr. Richard Rosenberger, effective immediately.
Rosenberger’s performance has divided the board for more than a year. It’s also been at the root of a lawsuit involving the seat of Stu Shirley. The lawsuit has cost taxpayers more than $100,000, according to Board Member Bonnie Knight.
Board members who voted in the majority Thursday declined to comment on their decision after the vote and referred 7News to the district’s attorney, who laid out the complaints he had heard against Rosenberger.
“Three major concerns: a significant decline in test scores…number two: a significant turnover in personnel. Anderson County is blessed with five good school districts, and teachers here have alternatives,” said school board attorney Ken Childs. “And we also…there hasn’t been much attention paid to this, but the district is losing students. ”
Supporters of Rosenberger have been vocal.
“It’s totally crooked to get rid of a very good man that loves the students, supports the teachers,” said Honea Path resident Richard Taylor.
Rosenberger’s job was a point of contention when board member Stu Shirley, who did not support the superintendent, abruptly resigned last year, splitting the board 3-3 between those who supported Rosenberger and those who did not.
Shirley later rescinded his resignation and was seated back on the board, which prompted litigation from Rosenberger’s three supporters on the board. A judge sided with the supporters of the superintendent, claiming Shirley could not take his seat back. The other board members are in the process of appealing that ruling. Shirley has since passed away. Marion Nickles was appointed to fill his seat. He voted in the majority to remove Rosenberger.
According to the district’s attorney, Rosenberger has options going forward. He can either take six months severance if he signs papers saying he won’t sue the district, take a job as a consultant with the district throughout the remainder of his contract, which ends in June of 2021, or be let go without severance.
Rosenberger has not responded to 7News’ request for comment.
The board also voted 4-2 to authorize the board attorney to look for candidates for interim superintendent for the upcoming school year.