Eric Darcy Colorado 0

Clean Slate: Entirely New Ridgway School Board

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Petition: Request for the immediate resignation of the ENTIRE Ridgway School Board and kick off the process of electing a new board.


1. Our school district is facing significant challenges of leadership turnover, teacher turnover, and student performance. We need a School Board committed to serving in the best interest of the students and school district. The current school board has failed to provide the leadership required to address these challenging issues.

2. The School Board has allowed public input from us, their constituents, who voted them into office; however, they are not listening to us. They refuse to objectively explore ideas different than their individual positions or those recommended by others. Even among themselves, they have failed to model the teamwork, professionalism, and objectivity that we would expect from these very important positions.

3. In the School Board's 4/28 decision to start with a "clean slate" and not renew Principal Hobb's contract, they imply that his employment is the source of contention. The Board needs to "own" this conflict and recognize that they may also part of the problem because of their failure to effectively manage the dispute between Superintendant Gomez and Principal Hobbs. Their solution instills fear in our most valued educational resource -our teachers -, but also impacts leadership stability for our students.

4. To make matters worse, at the 5/12 board meeting, they blamed Hobbs for the student protests, which their decision created. In addition, they humiliated him by cutting off his work cell phone and email and told him to empty his office and not return. This is on top of not giving him the contractually required notification time that his contract would not be renewed. What new replacement candidate would want to accept this job knowing how poorly the board treated the last principal?

As constituents, we need to hold the School Board accountable and make sure their decisions support EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION and benefit our students. They should be able to articulate WHAT their decisions are, WHY the decisions will improve our School District and HOW they will benefit our students.

The School Board is one of our community's most important jobs. It ensures that we have excellent education system for our children. We recognize that the School Board is made of volunteers. We appreciate their efforts and time; however, our students need a School Board that can work together, be respectful, discern quality talent, and not make decisions that inflame, disrupt, and degrade our school.

As stated in the pre-amble to the U.S. Declaration of Independence …”whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government”

Please make yourself heard by signing this petition.

More Rationale:

1. The current board has refused to renew our Secondary School Principal’s contract for an additional year (2014-2015 school year) because the “toxic political atmosphere” created over the Superintendent’s past actions and the resulting separation controversy. The board majority said it wants to “clean the slate” for the new interim superintendent. A true “clean slate” requires that the entire Ridgway School Board resign. They are much more culpable for the toxic atmosphere than our principal, who over the last 5 years has presided over a secondary school with excellent achievements vs other CO schools.

2. The current board has rejected the overwhelming urgings by parents, community members, teachers, and students to retain Principal Hobbs and has not provided any job performance weakness that would merit his termination. This is akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water and not at all consistent with being part of a representative government.

3. This termination without justifiable cause sends the message to the remaining staff and teachers that dissention will not be considered and potentially could get you laid off.

4. Leaving the current board in place seriously hinders future recruiting of a principal. What kind of new principal candidate would want to take this position knowing the last principal was let go and mistreated because of “toxic politics”, but for no apparent cause related to performance? Only the most desperate candidates would accept a position at Ridgway under these circumstances and ultimately the best qualified will seek positions elsewhere with responsible, respectful, and discerning school boards.

5. This recent action taken by the board along with many other past dereliction of their most important duty (to hold the superintendent accountable) has led to the “toxic atmosphere” and demonstrates that they are unfit to serve in the best interest of the students and achieving excellence.

6. The risk is clear that our school’s performance will suffer with the current board in place and our entire community will become less desirable in the recruiting process and ultimately decline. That impacts everyone in community.

Please make yourself heard by signing this petition.

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