One day shy of his two-year anniversary as director of the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada, Ken Beaton was cleaning out his desk.
By a 5-4 vote, the museum's board of directors decided Thursday night not to renew his contract.
"I cleared my desk and took down my pictures," he said Friday afternoon. "I straightened everything out and turned in my keys by noon."
The decision prompted Jerre Schultz to resign his position. Nevada Appeal publisher and board member John DiMambro, who was absent during the vote, said he may follow suit.
"I fail to see what positive results will follow consequential to his termination," DiMambro said. "As museum director, he was always visible at community events and did his very best to project the image of the children's museum. I, personally, am going to miss him a lot."
Beaton, who retired from teaching high school business classes in Nevada for 22 years, said he has received several phone calls from board members expressing sympathy.
"I've seen school boards for 24 years," he said. "Not all the time does the vote of a board make sense to a reasonably prudent person."
He said he will miss his job.
"I really liked what I was doing. I felt like I was making a contribution," he explained. "I felt the importance of the children's museum. It's not a nicety - it's a necessity."
However, having also worked in marketing for the local radio station, KPTL, and for News Carson City, he said he has options and will not be financially devastated.
"I'm OK," he said. "I'm going to eat. I'm going to be able to put gas in the car."
And although he's not sure what he will do in the long run, he has the immediate future figured out.
"I'm going golfing this afternoon," he said.
And he's still rooting for the museum.
"I wish them success."
Board president Maria Pence did not return phone calls or e-mails Friday.
n Contact reporter Teri Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1272.