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NELIGH — After spending more than an hour in executive session, the Neligh-Oakdale Board of Education voted unanimously to create a director of education position and hire an interim superintendent during a special meeting on Monday.

The positions were created after the resignation of Superintendent Scott Gregory, who accepted a teaching position at Fort Hays State University.

Gregory’s resignation is effective Aug. 5.

What isn’t clear about Monday’s meeting is if the board violated the Nebraska Open Meetings Act by entering an executive session, which is a closed session to the public and media.

Board president Ryan Koinzan said he and Gregory had conducted research “about the situation we’re facing,” including contacting the Nebraska Department of Education about protocol and requirements for a superintendent’s certificate.

“To respect the privacy of the individuals involved, I would entertain a motion to go into executive session,” Koinzan said.

Once the board returned to the public meeting, the board approved hiring for the two positions.

Board members also approved a motion for board of education officers to designate a committee to differentiate responsibilities of an interim superintendent and director of education for the purposes of hiring for those positions.

Potential candidates were not discussed during Monday’s meeting.

The Nebraska Open Meetings Act limits the times that public bodies may go into executive or private session.

In general, they include times when negotiations are taking place to discuss such things as strategy sessions or pending litigation; discussion of security; when an individual’s or several individuals’ reputations may be harmed; or investigative proceedings are discussed regarding possible criminal misconduct.

Because the creation of a position does not fall under one of the areas, it appears the school board may have violated the act.

When two board members were told of a possible open meetings violation afterward, they did not offer an explanation.

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