Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs High school has not been the same for many students since Campus Supervisor Brad Nelson was fired two weeks ago without an explanation or warning.
Many students who said they had an open and honest relationship with Nelson are aggravated and disgruntled that the school administration has not given reasons for the termination.
"I think he was fired because he was too lenient, but he did his job," said Derek Haverley, an 18-year-old senior.
Nelson started as campus supervisor in August 2000 with the intent of obtaining a full-time position this coming fall as a high school teacher.
On Jan. 24, Nelson met with Principal David Schmid and Vice Principal Mike Knezevich at the end of the school day to be told his job was terminated, effective immediately. Nelson said he pleaded his case, but the administration had already made its decision.
"It was a shock," Nelson said after not accepting the administrator's offer to resign.
A campus supervisor oversees Saturday school for the students, supervises the parking lot and makes sure students attend class.
Schmid declined to comment because he said it was a personnel matter.
"For his own protection, it wouldn't be fair to discuss reasons why he's gone," Schmid said.
District Superintendent Cyndy Simms said terminating within the first year is not common but it does happen and each individual's situation is different.
"The policy exists so that there's a time frame for individuals to get to know the job and see how the person does in that job," Simms said.
Upon agreeing to the position at the high school, Nelson knew he would be on a one-year probationary period with the understanding that he could be terminated at any time without an explanation.
However, Nelson said he never dreamed it would've come to that.
"I thought everything was going above and beyond my expectations and what they expected of me," Nelson said.
In a meeting three weeks ago with Schmid, Nelson said he asked Schmid about the quality of his performance and what he could do to enhance his position. Nelson said he was told by Schmid that everything was good but Nelson needed to show more initiative in certain areas, such as the Nuts and Bolts Committee and teacher projects, in order to gain a position as a teacher.
Although the school is not required to give him a reason for terminating his support staff position, Nelson said his efforts in obtaining an explanation have been unsuccessful.
After finding out about his termination, Nelson tried to get a job at the middle school as a severe needs aide for an autistic sixth-grader needing extra assistance. The middle school did not hire him on the basis that the high school gave him an unsatisfactory reference, Nelson said.