Asking for Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education CEO Lois Lamer on Friday, March 18, got a simple response in the facility’s meeting room. VACTE Governing Board President Steve Dockray just said, “Lois Lamer is no longer employed here.”
Earlier in the week, he had offered just as little, stating by email, “I can only comment on her last day, which will be [Sunday] March 27.”
Despite initial reticence to offer information, Dockray opened up in person, providing the resignation letter he had received from Lamer — VACTE’s CEO for the last five years — on March 8. The letter was formally accepted at the governing board meeting March 11.
“I hereby tender my resignation for health reasons, as CEO of the Valley Academy — effective March 27, 2016,” the letter read. “My last day will be Friday, March 25. I wish Valley Academy all the best as I begin retirement.”
Dockray volunteered no information on the nature of Lamer’s health issues or the reason she was absent from the facility despite her stated final day of employment.
Lamer could not be reached for comment. Both Dockray and VACTE Business Manager Celeste Cimkowski have been give authority by the governing board to search for Lamer’s replacement.
By Dockray’s own admittance, his days since Lamer’s retirement have been packed. Finding a new leader for the Verde Valley’s Joint Technical Education District, ensuring that its partner school districts continue to offer Career and Technical Education to students, is paramount.
“That’s why I’ve been on the road,” Dockray said, adding that after 15 years on VACTE’s board he is still “pretty well connected” with qualified individuals. According to him, many retired administrators might be willing to fill in for an interim period of less than a year.
If he’s lucky, the board may even find a permanent replacement soon.
Asked when he needs to have found Lamer’s replacement, Dockray said, “Yesterday .... We need somebody now.”