The four-hour, 20-minute Quincy School Board meeting Wednesday night drew interest from other school boards meeting in the region that night. Coverage Tuesday in The Herald-Whig and an analysis by Staff Writer Edward Husar on his “Education Beat” blog on Wednesday alerted readers that the controversy surrounding Board President Melvin “Bud” Niekamp was going to finally be resolved after nearly two years.
Pikeland Superintendent Paula Hawley and Board President David Barton told Staff Writer Deborah Gertz Husar that were getting texts about the Quincy meeting during the Pikeland School Board meeting in Pittsfield. The Pikeland board took a special interest in the Quincy situation because Quincy Superintendent Lonny Lemon previously served as Pittsfield High School principal.
With the Niekamp issue possibly settled, Hawley hopes the Quincy board now can move forward. “Hopefully now they can move on with things,” she said. “The best case scenario is to get this behind you and move on.”
Western Superintendent Rodger Hannel called the situation “the best show in town” but a strike against the Quincy district’s reputation. “Everybody is looking, thinking what in the world is going on, but from what I’m seeing, they did what they had to do,” Hannel said.
Hannel said the situation may just be a sign of the times. “A lot of it is an atmosphere of distrust of government. Easiest to go after is a local political body everybody has access to — the local school board,” he said
The drama unfolding in Quincy did not escape the notice of the Hannibal (Mo.) Board of Education, either. As the board departed a relatively quiet 45-minute open meeting, where the biggest news was the district’s first round of raises in two years, Staff Writer Mary Poletti reports Board President David Jackson joked that things had likely gone much more smoothly in their meeting than in Quincy, to much laughter from the audience.