The_Valley_Reporter - Letters http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters Tue, 28 Jul 2015 20:40:19 -0400 en-gb ‘Where is the apology?’ http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10782-where-is-the-apology http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10782-where-is-the-apology

To The Editor:

Last night I attended another school board meeting in Warren. Over 100 people were gathered again asking the same questions and still getting no answers.

We were told again and again about all the problems facing our school – problems about compliance with state rules and regulations. Who is to blame for those problems? Is it our absent principal, Jill Ballou? Is it their own fault and that of the superintendent for firing Laurie Jones without a contingency plan for running our school? Doesn't that buck ultimately stop with the school board and the superintendent?

Many concerned citizens want to see the wrong that has been done to Laurie Jones corrected. Beth Binns Schoellkopf presented the superintendent with a viable new job proposal for Laurie Jones within the school. The most newly appointed member of the school board, Alycia Biondo, alone, promised those present that she would strongly encourage the superintendent to consider the idea of rehiring Laurie.

We teach children to apologize, to undo the pain they cause using their words. There was no evidence that this board feels they have done anything wrong to Laurie Jones, despite the public outcry. Where is the apology for Laurie Jones? Will it ever come?

Ashley Woods
Warren

{loadnavigation}

]]>
Letters Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:11:38 -0400
Without explanation http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10781-without-explanation http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10781-without-explanation

To The Editor:

It was obviously clear that the Warren citizens speaking at the school board meeting last night feel that administrative assistant Laurie Jones was thrown under the bus by mistake. The civilized response is to apologize. If there was an apology the air would clear.

So what went wrong? The school district superintendent said that there are new state and federal regulations that Warren has failed to deal with and they are very serious. After 27 years at Warren School, Laurie Jones never had to deal with these new regulations. It seems that she was given these tasks and, when the board found they were being handled insufficiently, was fired.

When the scope of work changes and new regulations and forms and data collecting and filing and payments are added to a workload, the supervisor and the school board would seemingly evaluate the load, redirect the new workload and/or train the person to whom they are assigning the work and monitor the progress to assure the tasks are done.

In the case in Warren, the board fired the most respected person on the staff without explanation.

I suggest rescinding all the agreements to fire, terminate and redirect that workload and continue with Ms. Jones as usual. And, render a public apology.

Dave Sellers
Warren

{loadnavigation}

]]>
Letters Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:10:20 -0400
‘The problem’ http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10780-the-problem http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10780-the-problem

To The Editor:

Open letter to the Warren School Board

Here's the problem: No one in the audience at Tuesday night's well-attended meeting has any idea why you fired Laurie Jones. From the testimony at the last two meetings and from your own experience as Warren School parents, you know that Laurie was the woman who always knew what was going on, the voice of Warren School customer service and part of the reason why families come to Warren – so why would you have fired her, especially when you have an inexperienced, struggling principal and the school needs all the support it can get?

The superintendent listed a number of problems the school is facing, most of which were on the principal's job description, not Laurie's, and none of them were reasons for firing Laurie. You say you had tried to reach out to prevent this, but we know that Laurie was surprised by your action on June 19. She has never had a written evaluation from her supervisors. The principal, in April, told her she was doing a good job.

You never gave Laurie an opportunity to talk with you or respond to any concerns about her job performance.

So to those of us in the audience, it looks like you have badly mistreated an essential employee. You have done serious damage to the school. But you rejected my proposal to hire a mediator/arbitrator to investigate and report on the issues. Mike Ketchel asked whether we would be more likely to trust an independent, objective arbitrator. The answer is yes, we would, for all of the reasons suggested above. We want to know that your decision to fire Laurie was, despite all appearances, reasonable and appropriate.

Andreas Lehner
Waitsfield

Lehner was the principal at Warren School for 24 years. He retired in 2012.

{loadnavigation}

]]>
Letters Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:09:12 -0400
A special thank you from Casey Eurich http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10768-a-special-thank-you-from-casey-eurich http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10768-a-special-thank-you-from-casey-eurich

To The Editor:

These are Casey's last written words: "Mad River Glen, my place to call my second home. I started skiing in the late 1980s at Mad River with a true spirited skier named Gordie Eurich. It was then that I knew I had that second home. Years would come and go and eventually bring a daughter to us who expresses the true individualism and spirit that is Mad River Glen. Mad River Glen, no other place is like this. You are all wonderful people."

This is a letter Casey had begun as a thank you to everyone who put together and attended the beautiful benefit on her behalf. She was hiding it under our couch and would not let anyone read it until she felt it was completed. Funny, I think she captured it all.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all in the Mad River community for what you mean to us and have done for our family. What a truly unique and special place to be a part of.

Gordie and Ellen Eurich

{loadnavigation}

]]>
Letters Thu, 16 Jul 2015 14:46:19 -0400
Consolidation? http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10767-consolidation http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10767-consolidation

To The Editor:

In the manifesto that Adam Greshin read at the education board meeting it states: In no small measure our success has been due to a superb administrative team, fully engaged educators and broad community support. One of the superb administrative team retired and they fired the other part of that team and in doing so lost the broad community support. So will their next step be to get rid of the fully engaged educators? Consolidation, here we come?

Robin Lehman
Warren

{loadnavigation}

]]>
Letters Thu, 16 Jul 2015 14:45:17 -0400
Recommend a visit http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10766-recommend-a-visit http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10766-recommend-a-visit

To The Editor:

I was very surprised that your distinguished reviewer, Zina Davis, of the watercolor exhibition failed to mention the outstanding picture titled Transformation by the well-known artist Amanda Amend. Miss Amend is a world-renowned artist and a former Spanish teacher at a liberal arts college in Vermont. The picture is absolutely beautiful and very thought provoking. I recommend a visit to this excellent exhibition if only to see this one picture.

Keith Taylor
Waitsfield

{loadnavigation}

]]>
Letters Thu, 16 Jul 2015 14:44:32 -0400
‘Deeply disturbed’ http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10756-deeply-disturbed http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10756-deeply-disturbed

To The Editor:

To the Warren Elementary School Board and other concerned parties,

As a parent who has put three children through the Warren School, I am deeply disturbed to hear about the removal of Laurie Jones from her position as administrative assistant.

Laurie is a caring, loving woman who supported not only my family but all of the children who have gone through this school over the past 27 years. Laurie was always the backbone of the Warren School and the go-to person if you needed something to get done or information. She spent countless hours preparing for school functions, field trips and much more.

To hear that she has been removed from her position after 27 years of service to our community is shameful. I would like to believe that the Warren School and our community value people for their hard work, dedication and longevity. I urge the school board and the supervisory union to come up with a counter proposal that rewards Laurie and honors her for all she has done for our community.

Robert Amon
Former Warren resident
and current Fayston resident

{loadnavigation}

]]>
Letters Thu, 09 Jul 2015 11:56:04 -0400
‘Reinstate Laurie Jones’ http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10755-reinstate-laurie-jones http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10755-reinstate-laurie-jones

To The Editor:

On July 7, 2015, I attended the Warren Elementary School Board meeting. I have to say I left with a horrible pit in my stomach. I grew up in Warren. I went to the Warren School. I love Warren. I have always known I would want my kids to go to Warren when I have them. Recent events have made me question that idea.

The board recently asked long-term administrative assistant Laurie Jones to resign (not by unanimous decision.)

Community members rallied around Laurie with an overwhelming show of support at this meeting with hopes of questions being answered. The board balked at every question saying they legally could not give any details. Warren has become a community that is confused and frustrated, looking to their elected officials for answers and receiving none.

At one point during the meeting a community member asked everyone who would like to see Laurie reinstated to stand up, it seemed the only people left in their seats were on the board. I would think that this was an outstanding show that the community believes this was a wrong decision.

People elect public officials to represent them and be their voice. I think it was pretty clear that the Warren community was screaming for this decision to be overturned.

A statement was made along the lines that there are many problems within the school that the board is working to fix but it is my opinion that the decision to let go one of the most integral and loved staff members of the school has done nothing but create a new and highly detrimental situation within the school. The students weren't even given a chance to say goodbye as this decision was made in the middle of summer break.

I think everyone understands that the board is stuck between a rock and a hard place and may have done what they believed was best, but the community has spoken. Rather than trying to defend this decision the board could make things right and reinstate Laurie Jones.

Annie Johnson
Moretown

{loadnavigation}

]]>
Letters Thu, 09 Jul 2015 11:55:01 -0400
‘Tearful, loud gym’ http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10754-tearful-loud-gym http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10754-tearful-loud-gym

To The Editor:

To the young girl with the green cast who spoke so bravely, sincerely and eloquently at the special school board meeting Tuesday night in Warren, we commend you. It takes a lot of guts to stand up in front of a room full of adults and express your feelings and concerns about a friend, mentor and important leader of your school who recently lost her job. Furthermore, to the mom of the just-graduated sixth-grader who was trying to go home with an answer for her daughter, we share your sentiment along with everyone who was present or not. It is rare that we can't speak to our kids' questions and inquiries truthfully and with some degree of insight, yet that is the situation we are still in today.

The Warren Elementary School Board and those people in charge of guiding and directing the school have a short time to restore the trust and confidence of all citizens in this town, young and old. When students return in August, each child should walk into the creative, fun and safe environment which they, along with their parents or guardians, have come to know and love. It is not fair to have a young student need to express how heartbroken she is, along with the greater school community, over recent decisions which seem misguided due to a lack of leadership, communication and transparency.

Andrew and Kara Merrill
Warren

{loadnavigation}

]]>
Letters Thu, 09 Jul 2015 11:54:11 -0400
Attend meeting http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10745-attend-meeting http://valleyreporter.com/index.php/en/news/letters/10745-attend-meeting


To The Editor:

Dearest Warren and Mad River Valley community,

The school year is over, but our school community still needs you. With recent changes at Warren School it's important that all community members attend the next school board meeting at Warren Elementary School on Tuesday, July 7, at 7 p.m.

Asah Rowles, Ashley Woods, Charlotte Robinson
Waitsfield, Warren and Warren

{loadnavigation}

]]>
Letters Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:17:13 -0400