Former principal Makelky, SCSD1 reach settlement

PINEDALE – The Sublette County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees unanimously approved a settlement agreement with former Pinedale Middle School Principal Eric Makelky at its July 20 meeting.

The trustees present at the meeting – Chairman Jamison Ziegler, Marie McGuire, Charles Prior, Stacy Illoway and Rachel Weksler – did not discuss the content of the agreement.

In response to an email from the Roundup, Ziegler confirmed the settlement was related to a petition filed by Makelky with the 9th District Court in April requesting a review of the district’s decision not to renew Makelky’s contract and placing the principal on administrative leave on March 10.

Ziegler did not make any further statements because settlement was a personnel issue he “cannot comment on.”

Trustees passed a second motion accepting a letter of resignation submitted by Makelky.

Following the motions, Ziegler read a statement on behalf of the district.

The trustees’ decision to place Makelky on “paid administrative leave ... was not done in response to any internal investigation or allegation of serious misconduct,” Ziegler emphasized. Superintendent Shannon Harris recommended the action as the “best way to conclude the 2021-2022 school year,” he added.

Ziegler and the trustees thanked Makelky for 13 years of service at SCSD1, “serving our students, families and staff” as a social studies and language arts teacher, football, wrestling and track coach, instructional facilitator, Skyline Academy principal and assistant principal and principal at Pinedale Middle School.

“We wish him continued success serving in a Wyoming community as the junior-senior high school principal of Converse County (School District) No. 2,” the document concluded.

Makelky’s letter of resignation stated, “It has become clear that my philosophy of leadership conflicts with the beliefs and behaviors of Superintendent Harris.”

He added that he was “enthusiastic to move on to a new opportunity for myself and my family.”

Makelky expressed appreciation for the “professional opportunities” provided by SCSD1 since he joined the district in 2009.

“It has been rewarding to lead the staff, students and families of our school community,” Makelky wrote. “I am proud of the many things we have accomplished, especially the positive and supportive culture that we developed at Pinedale Middle School.”