Updated: Thursday, 10 Feb 2011, 6:29 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 09 Feb 2011, 10:41 PM EST
PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) - Portage Schools Superintendent Marsha Wells will stay with the district, the board decided after meeting with its attorney in a closed-door session for three hours Wednesday night.
Wells and the district will resolve their issues -- but she's not completely off the hook, 24 Hour News 8 learned Thursday.
"I wouldn't use the word 'support,' said Kevin Hollenbeck, the school board president. "Last night, we decided we want to resolve our differences."
Minutes to a closed-door meeting are not made public, but Hollenbeck revealed some of what the board discussed -- including a list of improvements Wells must make, in order to retain her job.
Over the past few months, some board members have spoken out about problems they've had with Wells, but the superintendent has said all along she is committed to keeping her job.
On Thursday, the board presented a united front, as only Hollenbeck would talk on behalf of the district.
Still, "this issue is not over," he said.
In June, the board decided to cut Wells' contract short, and she agreed to informal evaluations every three months. Board members say she has failed to communicate, hasn't been open and treats members with disrespect.
They also have complained about an inability to improve academic achievement.
Wells has plenty of supporters, including teachers and parents.
Before the closed-door session, one of her supporters spoke of rumblings she heard that the board doesn't care about the opinions of the people.
"For you to think that we are not smart enough to ask questions or state opinions is appalling," said Deb Polderman, a Portage resident and former board member. "You come to us as citizens to vote on school millages. We are smart enough to know that, but we're not smart enough to express our opinions, and how we feel the district is being run."
Hollenbeck denies the friction is personal. He previously competed with Wells for the superintendent job.
Asked 24 Hour News 8: "Could that possibly be a concern here?"
"No, no -- it shouldn't be a concern," Hollenbeck said. "I have no problem with their selection process."
Wells was hired in 2007. The board can fire her without pay, for cause. But if there's no cause, the district must pay her until her contract expires in June 2012.
The board has set 14 goals for Wells. Her next formal evaluation is in June. If it finds she has met the board's expectations, the contract will roll over another year.