Clarkston leader resigns over relationship
The superintendent for Clarkston Community Schools resigned Sunday after admitting to an “inappropriate relationship” with a 19-year-old graduate of the district.
Elizabeth Egan, president of the Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education, posted a letter Monday morning on the district’s website saying Superintendent Rod Rock notified the board of a relationship he had with a recent Clarkston High School graduate that he characterized as inappropriate.
“He (Rock) indicated that the relationship started as a friendship and became inappropriate only after the now 19-year-old graduated. Dr. Rock felt the nature of this relationship compromised his ability to effectively serve as Superintendent of Schools. During a special board meeting last night, the Board accepted Dr. Rock’s resignation, effective immediately,” the letter said.
Egan said the news was “difficult and deeply troubling” and the focus of the board is to support the woman involved. She was not identified in the letter.
The board has requested an outside investigation and will share its findings as appropriate, Egan said. Shawn Ryan, deputy superintendent, was appointed to serve as interim superintendent on Sunday.
Rock, 49, couldn’t be reached for comment.
He was only 14 days into his new contract when he made the disclosure to the board. Rock signed a four-year contract on Dec. 11 with the district — effective Jan. 1 — that paid him $161,000 a year from July 1 through June 30, 2019. His salary for the remaining years was to be determined by the board on an annual basis, the contract says.
District spokeswoman Mary Ellen Rowe said Rock was making $150,000 prior to his resignation. He was hired as superintendent of schools in 2010.
He also received a $500,000 life insurance policy and a $600 a month car allowance through the contract.
Rock’s LinkedIn profile says he served for six years as the superintendent at Clarkston, which has about 7,600 students, 900 educators and 12 schools.
Before coming to Clarkston, Rock was director of instructional services in Saginaw County and was an elementary school teacher, coach and principal in the Unionville-Sebewaing Area Schools, outside Bay City in the Thumb.
Ryan and other school board members will visit each district building in the coming weeks to speak with parents and answer any questions, Egan said.
In 2015, Rock was named Michigan PTA Outstanding Administrator of the Year. In November, Rock was inducted as the 2018 Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce president.