Statement from former chairman of the Parents for Dr. D Committee

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On Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004, John DeVincentis sent an e-mail to Joby McGowan containing the following statement:

"Our parents are great! They formed a committee WITHOUT talking to me, 'Committee for Dr. D.' Most of them hated Cyndy. They were very glad to see her go. They didn't go to court because they couldn't have won. AND my bet is that the teachers and the union were just worn down. That's what usually happens."

Jim Swiggart, who served as the chairman of the Parent for Dr. D. Committee, offered the following response:

"Speaking for myself only, my involvement with Dr. D's problems with our School District when he was principal of Strawberry Park Elementary School began when he made me aware that, in his mind, the Board was attempting to force him to resign. John voluntarily made public his personnel evaluation which included 9 negatives of 18 points. With three awards for Colorado School of Excellence, many of us found it difficult to believe the evaluation. John told me he would accept a buy-out and retirement offer from the Board. I personally contacted the School Board president and begged him to do just that - believing a backlash from the community of trying to force him out would be unavoidable. The Board elected not to buy him out. At that time, a number of parents including myself formed the Parents for Dr. D. Committee.

"Over the next several contentious months, had John elected to allow us to simply say to the community and Board that their tactic was unfair and allow them to reconsider, the bitterness and controversy could have been minimized. It became obvious early on that John was so incensed that he wanted this battle - regardless of its consequences. What followed was heart-wrenching for all involved. When Superintendent Simms, whom I still call a friend, left for a new job and life, it appeared the controversy would subside and the job of educating our children would again become the focus of the Board.

"With what I know of the current Board, that focus seems to have been lost. It is interesting that a Board with Dr. D on it seems to be using the same tactic against the current superintendent that was used against John. In my opinion, our Board should be focusing on the immediate concerns of Soda Creek Elementary School's transition, the half-cent sales tax and the vision of our district and other long-range issues.

"Many of us on the Parents for Dr. D. Committee objected to the unfairness of trying to force John into resignation - just as we would object to that same tactic being used against Superintendent Howell. We also appreciated his work and record - as a principal. It would be interesting to meet with the group again to get their reactions to his leadership on the Board."

Comments

reallocal 7 years, 8 months ago

Sadly, I think he had a lot of parents fooled. The School of Excellence Award is primarily based on standardized test scores. I remember taking those tests. The "capable" students were allowed to take the tests according to state guidelines, and the students who were singled out as potentially "low scorers" were herded out into the community areas (pods) to take these tests as part of a smaller group led (and assisted) by teachers, or counted as absent. Cheating on tests does not equal excellence, and DeVincentis has done every person other than himself a disservice in maintaining that he was an excellent administrator. His most adept skill turned out to be manipulating people. I am greatly offended by his willing and eager attitude regarding this committee. Many of you sincerely thought that DeVincentis was worthy of your time, energy, and reputations. Shame on him for using your interest and passion for our schools as a personal stepping stone to further his twisted agendas. You all deserved better.

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beentheredonethat 7 years, 8 months ago

I hope that Mr. Swiggert will get his group, the "committee for Dr. D" together and either support their man, or admit error and disavow themselves of him. As Mr. Swiggert said: "It would be interesting to meet with the group again to get their reactions to his leadership on the Board."

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autumnwitch 7 years, 8 months ago

Glad you had the guts to say you were wrong! :) Too many are still unable to make that call.

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