After refusing to accept two teachers' requests to resign earlier in the school year, the Payson school board reversed itself and gave Frontier Elementary School special education teacher Brad Bolt permission to step away from his contract at mid-year.
At the same Dec. 12 meeting at which Bolt was told he could resign, the board authorized filing an Arizona Department of Education "breech of employment" complaint against former Payson High School teacher Scott Dean who walked out of his contract in September after the board declined his resignation.
The board's complaint, which alleges unprofessional conduct, could cost Dean his Arizona teaching certification.
In November, the board would not accept the resignation of Payson High School girls physical education teacher Audra Judd, saying changing teachers in mid-year is disruptive and not in the best interests of the students.
PUSD Superintendent Sue Myers defended the board's about-face, saying the members "look at each request or situation and then make a determination on what is best for the students and the district."
School board president Viki Holmes said she could not comment because the decision was a personnel matter done in executive session.
"I have no comment other than what the superintendent has already given you," she said.
Bolt does not know why the board refused both Dean's and Judd's resignations, but accepted his.
"Any discussion they had on this was behind closed doors," he said.
"There was absolutely no discussion about it that I was privy to," Bolt said. "They simply moved, seconded and voted on my resignation."
Bolt said he resigned because he is the Christian Education Director at Payson United Methodist Church and would be "implementing what is needed in order for our church to become a certified child-care facility."
In refusing Dean's and Judd's resignations, the board also indicated the rejection was because both were good teachers and it was in the best interest of students for the two to remain until the end of the school year.
Bolt has a reputation for being a competent teacher.
In 1998, he was the Payson Roundup's "Best Teacher of the Year" and in Feb. 2005 he was named outstanding Frontier Elementary School teacher in a Country Kitchen/Breadeaux Pizza awards program.
A Frontier teacher, who asked not to be identified, said Bolt was considered a good teacher, especially among the younger children.
Bolt supported the board's decision to release him from his contract.
"I can only assume the school board felt by honoring my resignation they would be acting in the best interests of the community by allowing me to educate and nurture children in a different venue," he said.