Linda Clark has resigned abruptly — and effective immediately — as superintendent of the West Ada School District.
Clark’s resignation, announced Friday afternoon, ended her 37-year tenure in Meridian-area schools — the past 11 years as head of the state’s largest school district. It also comes after a turbulent 90 days in the district; since July, trustees and Clark have openly sparred about extending the superintendent’s contract, Clark’s appointment to the State Board of Education and other topics.
Even Friday, the verbal jousting continued.
In a prepared statement, and in interviews with reporters, Clark said she was forced out. She said she resigned after trustees made a final offer earlier this week: They asked Clark to stay on as superintendent until Nov. 3, the day West Ada voters go to the polls to decide on a two-year, $28 million supplemental levy, and resign the following day.
“The board’s final offer literally made me ill,” said Clark. “While I strongly support passage of the levy to pay for our schools, I refuse to be dishonest with the community for a few thousand dollars.”
School trustee Russell Joki — who has openly clashed with Clark since taking office on July 1 — took issue with Clark’s comments.
“The board did not ask her to resign,” Joki told reporters.
Joki said Clark’s resignation caught him off guard, and called the timing “hurtful,” since it could jeopardize passage of the levy.