Resignation agreement revealed

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Education accepted the resignation of school superintendent Dr. Monica Smith-Woofter during their regular meeting on Mar. 11. It was a 3-2 decision, with two board members not present to vote, and the resignation will be effective on Mar. 31.

Board Chair Clinton Williams and Vice Chair Lucy Edwards were the dissenting votes after they unsuccessfully tried to extend the resignation date to May 31.

At that meeting, neither the Board nor Dr. Smith-Woofter gave any explanation for the decision. It followed several long closed session meetings held the past few months.

The News Herald has obtained a copy of the resignation agreement between the Board and the Superintendent. It detailed the terms of the arrangement between the two parties.

“While the Board recognizes the many accomplishments in Dr. Smith-Woofter’s tenure, the Board desires to conclude Dr. Smith-Woofter’s employment,” it stated. “The Board and Dr. Smith-Woofter agree that it is in the best interests of the parties and of the school district to amicably and fairly conclude her employment.”

According to the agreement, Dr. Smith-Woofter will receive a one-time severance payment of $121,099.18 minus applicable tax and other deductions. The money for this will come from the school system’s local unrestricted fund balance and payable by April 15.

“The Finance Office has assured the Board that the funds are available for this purpose,” the agreement stated.

The outgoing superintendent will also receive payment for any accrued and unused annual leave days she has at the end of Mar. 31.

The agreement also included a clause that Dr. Smith-Woofter would continue to carry out her duties as superintendent until the resignation date as well as to help work towards a smooth transition.

“The parties acknowledge that this agreement is supported by mutual and adequate consideration,” the agreement also stated, continuing with a point that both parties have taken adequate time to review every aspect of the resignation agreement.

The document concludes by stating both the board members and Dr. Smith-Woofter “shall not make any disparaging statements or comments, written or oral” about the other.

Dr. Smith-Woofter began her career with Northampton County Schools in 1986 as a bus driver and substitute teacher. Before being hired as the superintendent in 2014, she previously served as a math teacher and a coach within the school district.

During her tenure as superintendent, Dr. Smith-Woofter secured over $1.6 million in competitive grant funds and was instrumental in opening Northampton County Early College.

She received the Brad Sneeden Leadership Award in 2018.

“I appreciate having been here in Northampton County,” Dr. Smith-Woofter said after the vote at the Mar. 11 meeting. “I was a student and a graduate. It has certainly been a pleasure to serve my students, my staff, and my community. It’s a privilege to have been given the opportunity. It will be a lifelong experience that will last in my memory forever, and I certainly want to thank you for the opportunity.”