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Letter to the Editor: Time to step down

— To the editor:

(Edited for length.)

Once in a lifetime children attend elementary and middle school. The quality of that experience largely determines their success or failure. In this setting, mismanagement of administrative duty causes irreparable harm.

As past board members of Mosier Community School, we were disappointed to read the June 21 Dalles Chronicle article “Mosier Principal Question Remains Unsettled.” The “Principal Question” remains unsettled because Executive Director Carole Schmidt has her own agenda designed to override the vote of the newly elected MCS Board members.

Forcing a second vote on retention of Principal Dave Sather perpetuates poor teacher-staff retention. The stability of teachers and staff is vital to our children.

Almost everyone knows that evaluation of employees is highly sensitive and carefully regulated. The privacy of the executive session provides that protection.

Although Sather was entitled to a fair hearing behind closed doors during the June 18, MCS board meeting, co-chairs Monica Reid and Steve Salmon trampled Sather’s rights discussing and voting on Sather’s employment in public session.

Can we trust these administrators to model compliance and teach our children respect for due process? The situation worsened when Reid disregarded protests from Director Ron Carroll, allowing Steve Shwiff to return to his board position despite his May 24 resignation.

Shwiff’s return was an attempt to tip the balance against Sather. Every observation supports the conclusion that Schmidt is attempting to impose her own imprint on the school, although she is only days from a second retirement

Can Schmidt honestly argue that she is fulfilling her duty to the community, the school and the children? In the face of a $100,000 budget shortfall, a fund was created for 20 days of post retirement consulting fees payable to Schmidt at $600 per day while a 20-day work reduction was imposed Tuesday night decreasing Sather’s pay. Is Sather being sacrificed to liberate consulting fees for Schmidt? Spring brought the resignation of Steve Shwiff, Brian McCormick and James Matthisen from the MCS Board. It is time for Directors Reid and Salmon to step down.

Early on, many children who attended under this administration did receive the benefit of confident teachers secure in their positions, however in recent years MCS staff was denied stability thus undermining educational effectiveness. There is hope that with the retirement of Schmidt, maybe Mosier Community School might enjoy revitalization and accountability from a new executive director and new board majority.

Craig and Donene Funk

Mosier

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