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Making tough choices…

May 14, 2015

When offered the choice of hearing the bad news or good news, which one do you pick to hear first?

As a school district there is no doubt that we choose the good news and work hard to celebrate and boast about all of the good news emerging from this district.  As superintendent, however, I also have to confront the bad news.

This past week we learned that someone who worked with the school district as an independent contractor in our athletic department was charged with embezzling money from the VA Hospital.  We were sad to learn that he later admitted to taking the money. As a district we cannot and will not support this type of behavior.  Consequently, and based on this admission, this person is no longer affiliated with the district. Further, we are re-evaluating our independent contractor policy.

While this individual may have been a good coach and statistician, we are concerned with the behavior off the field. After an internal review we have concluded that our district, our students and our faculty and staff did not have direct contact with the individual as it relates to the issues affecting the VA Hospital.

We realize that sometimes people make bad choices.  However, when those bad choices have the potential to impact our district, we have to make tough choices as to how to respond and how to set the tone as leaders in our community. As leaders we also aspire to become role models for our students and consequently have established strong values and high standards for anyone who has contact with our students to live by and achieve.  As leaders we also take every opportunity to improve the district and build upon each experience.

I want you to know we are constantly looking after what is in the best interest of your children and our students. This begins with community engagement and the opportunity to talk about issues openly and honestly.  I hope that our district can continue to provide a forum for people to talk openly about issues concerning our students, the district and our community.

This is a time of year when we begin to feel the warmth of summer approaching, when our students trade in their t-shirts for tuxedos and prom dresses and trade in their textbooks for yearbooks. In looking through their yearbook or even sitting at graduation, it is a time for reflection and a time to celebrate. We know our students will do both.  They will look at this year with great admiration, with fond recollection and with the ability to take the bad news with the good. They know, that despite good news or bad, as a district and as a community we are looking after each other.

If you have any questions on this matter or on anything else, please feel free to contact me.


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