Gleason: Recall funding, effort in place

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The DeVincentis e-mails

— The following is a letter sent by Pat Gleason, who resigned from the Steamboat Springs School Board Wednesday, to School Board President Denise Connelly.

Denise,

Please allow me a few thoughts on the current crisis facing the school district. As president of the board, your leadership is going to be critical in the next few days. Of all the issues facing the district, the board's relationship to the district and the community at large surrounding my resignation and John's emails have to be dealt with very quickly. Put the current controversy surrounding Donna on the back burner. Respect her wisdom and years of experience. Let her run the district and use the board's time to focus on solutions to these very public issues.

Denise, you should know that a recall of board members as a course of action is already in place. The funding for the recall has been secured, and a committee has been formed. The only unknown at this point is the names that will be placed on the petition. I am convinced that in the absence of strong leadership from you, your name as well as John's will be on that petition.

Please, advise John to step down to avoid putting the community and the district through another three months of very public conflict. As John himself said the other day, the blood letting has to stop.

Please set aside the board's personal agendas and concentrate on the community's priorities. It is time to stop the insanity that has marked this board. Be responsive, be responsible and urge John to retire.

Sincerely,

Pat Gleason

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Comments

Hammurabi 7 years, 8 months ago

Yet again, Pat has shown this community what a rational ethical leader he is. His absence from the school board will be missed and it is my hope that he will reconsider and ask to be reinstated. If the current president of the board, along with her fellow board members do not act quickly, they all should go. Shame on all of you for allowing this situation to get this far. You will all be held accountable.

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SteamboatJoe 7 years, 8 months ago

thank you Pat - you are the voice of reason, hopefully Denise will listen to you

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SSPerson 7 years, 8 months ago

Everyone that is concerned should contact the board members (and recent member) directly. These are their e-mail addresses as listed on the Steamboat Springs School District webpage: John DeVincentis johndpuzzles@hotmail.com Denise Connelly dbconnelly@msn.com Jeff Troeger jeff_troeger.boe@comcast.net Jerry Kozatch jkozatch@qwest.net /> Pat Gleason pmg@springsips.com

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jhc4 7 years, 8 months ago

I would like to support the recall effort. Does any one have Pat's email address. And yes, if the Board will not ask for Dr. D's resigantion, those who do not should also be included in the recall. The Board can not operate in this cloud. John D has shown that he is not an honest person. How can we be assured that his grudge against superintendents will not influence his decisions? He has a blind spot in his thinking.

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forsteamboatkids 7 years, 8 months ago

The president of a board needs to be a strong and active spokesperson for the board. Why is it that during this time of uncertainty and need, we hear nothing from the school board president? Denise needs to be front and center. Take a stand and make the board a functional unit. Instead, she has vanished. It sounds like it is time that she rides off into the sunset with John D. I am very surprised that Jerry Kozatch gave the newspaper a quote. He normally abstains from ever having to make a decision.

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ejg 7 years, 8 months ago

It's interesting how Mr. Gleason speaks of ethics, yet he has been known to treat school district employees disrespectfully. When teachers are speaking about issues that directly affect students during school board meetings, he rolls his eyes and continuously interrupts. Ethical? I think not.

Furthermore, it's embarrassing and pathetic that this OLD news is the headline. Our focus should be on the beloved local ski patroller that has been in a life threatening accident. I blame the Pilot (especially Scott Stanford) for this.

Eric Gautreaux

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retiredinss 7 years, 8 months ago

I would like to offer the following thoughts:

  1. Several people have commented that the referenced e-mails were old and therefore should not have been published or should not be considered when judging John D. I do not understand the thought process of these people. The e-mails show a pattern of behavior that is concerning to anyone reading them.
  2. The terms used to describe a former superintendent of schools reflect poorly on John D. While we all have met people and perhaps even have worked with people who were difficult, the terms he used show a lack of judgement and maturity, as well as perhaps a personal grudge?
  3. His use of the school e-mail facility again reflects upon his poor judgement. Many of us have worked for employers who advised us that the use of their computers etc. was for company business, and anything on our computers was open to their scrutiny. Clearly John knew this and used the system to send e-mails commenting upon the former superintendent. Did he want the e-mails to be found?
  4. Steamboat is a very friendly town, with open, warm hearted welcoming people. The tenor of the comments reflect badly upon our town. Is this what Steamboat is becoming?
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dogdog 7 years, 8 months ago

Dear Eric G- This issue affects the lives of thousands of children and families and hundred of teachers. It is not "old" news and perhaps you need to be a little less loyal to your friend and a little more objective regarding the facts. Your good friend has made the district a hostile place for anyone who disagrees with him. Trust me, I know this for a fact.

This issue does not take away from the plight of the ski patroler.

However, since you and your wife (a teacher under John D.) are VERY good friends with Mr. Devincentis, perhaps your concern for the fallen ski patroller is a rather pathetic attempt to divert attention away from your friend. Your loyalty, while geniune, is seriously misguided. Sorry to be so harsh, but you really need to critically evaluate John's actions and arrive at your own conclusion. This is serious, not old and his actions have hurt staff, students and parents. Give it some thought for yourself.

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dodobird 7 years, 8 months ago

Gotta love threats- Two former educators in our community, led by a formal school board member, wants to recall .

Talk about private agendas and vandettas. It's embarrasing for all those involved.

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jnprn 7 years, 8 months ago

Four things come to mind after reading the venomous, vitriolic emails in Friday's paper: 1) Dr. D is an unbalanced, hateful person who has no business in public office; 2) He has met his match in the paranoid Dr. Howell who A) is clearly responsible for supplying the newspaper with the emails, and B) who has found new lows for "winning" her personal battles; 3) The newspaper has crossed ethical boundaries by printing such a lengthy, inflammatory article about a relatively uninvolved Dr. Simms AND her family; 4) Where are the friends/family/confidants/advisors who have influence over these three factors and may have kept things from getting so wildly out of control?

If you have any doubts about Dr. Howell's involvement, consider the following timeline: March 2005 Dr. D was considering running for School Board after retirement April 2005 the acting school board made 2 significant amendments to Dr. Howell's contract: 1) the dates were changed from 7/1/046/30/07 to 7/1/046/30/09 and 2) the terms of Unilateral Termination were changed from a payment of "twelve months salary" to " the full amount of the remaining months of salary" May 2005 emails were retrieved from Devincentis' computer June 2005 Dr. Devincentis retired (not in May FYI) November 2005 Dr. Devincentis was elected to the School Board December 2005 2 new email policies were adopted, NNP-38 and NNP-38-R Coincidence? Unlikely.

To Dr. D: seriously, resign:in fact, move. There is no recovery from this.

To the School Board: Seize this opportunity to re-negotiate Dr. Howell's contract. She has flown under the protection of a five-year contract long enough. She is in violation of at least 2 provisions of her contract (Conflicts of Interest & Confidentiality) as well as board policies EL-4, EL-7, and EL-14. Just imagine what could be accomplished if she were forced to be 100% focused on her job in order to keep it:there's a lot to do.

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Gil Ramirez 7 years, 8 months ago

What will be embarrasing is to have John continue to serve on the board and be a distraction. Jonn has marginalized himself with these hate filled emails, his opinion will never again be respected or above reproach. Regardless of the time and effort he has given to teachers, kids and the community, he must pay a price for his actions. I hope he takes the honorable way out and resigns.

P.S. Using personal attacks and then hiding behind your username is cowardly. If you have the passion and conviction to express your views then sign your name and be heard. Gil Ramirez

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reallocal 7 years, 8 months ago

I agree, Howell has not been 100% focused on doing her job, since she's been distracted from doing it by having to defend it from the day DeVincentis was sworn in as a board member. Give her the chance to actually do her job 100%. Also, jprn, I am a little unclear about your timeline as proving her involvement. Could you explain it please? Good job on the research though (where were you when I needed a study buddy in college?)

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autumnwitch 7 years, 8 months ago

reallocal, you are my hero!!!! Thank you so much for using your eloquence to say exactly everything I have been thinking, but wasn't sure how to word it!!!!

As has been said in other posts, the modus operandi for this sick, twisted individual is to publicly lash out, and then apologize later (usually in private), then wait for the dust to settle before starting back up with his venomous attacks. Don't be fooled by this charismatic, but very sick man!! History is full of charismatic men who get people to follow them and then do their dirty work for them.

Buhbye, now John, buhbye!!

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Andyeast 7 years, 8 months ago

So, Now we are going to publish everyone's letter? Boring......

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Andyeast 7 years, 8 months ago

Ummm. retiredinss... This is interesting... your quote

  1. Steamboat is a very friendly town, with open, warm hearted welcoming people. The tenor of the comments reflect badly upon our town. Is this what Steamboat is becoming?

Gee, I have to disagree. Steamboat does NOT feel like a very friendly place with John D. here or any of us who have posted comments on here.. Myself included. We are all vengful, hateful people.

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jnprn 7 years, 8 months ago

reallocal, in response to your request: Donna is, seriously, paranoid. Her close associates are those who follow blindly and all others are systematically replaced. The previous Board was in her pocket and she in theirs. Not altogether bad until they hastily re-negotiate her contract for protection against a potentially unfriendly Board. To further arm herself, she raids Dr. Devincentis' computer for "insurance" and then makes sure the policies are in place well in advance of needing them. Apparently, she decided the time had come to play her ace. Was that her last card? I'm guessing yes and one that will win the game:but at what cost?

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reallocal 7 years, 8 months ago

A potentially unfriendly board? Try a ticking time bomb. Quite frankly, jnprn, DeVincentis has always been a liability and the previous board had the sensability to ensure that our district's children would not have to suffer as a result of DeVincentis' personal witchhunt when it became apparent that the public would likely elect him. I'm guessing that Howell did not have anything to do with these emails coming to light. If she did and it was discovered, it would be the end of not only her career in Steamboat, but anywhere. While people may take issue with her personally, very few people will deny that she is too smart and dedicated to her career to risk ending it in such a manner.

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bcpow 7 years, 8 months ago

Using a computer at work. Free
Using the school district address.
Free
Sending emails that you only want one person to see.
Free
Getting exposed for being the tool that you are.
PRICELESS

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formerstudent 7 years, 8 months ago

Reallocal if you were a real local you would know Dr. Howell has done nothing but take large pay raises while the average pay for teachers remains unchanged. Sorry, my mistake she also takes great pleasure in driving off some of the best teachers the schools have.

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purplemama 7 years, 8 months ago

Thank you, realllocal for your wit and logic. I am sure that Dr. Howell had nothing to do with releasing the emails, there are way too many former district employees and board members that have been the targets of John D's vindictive and hurtful comments. I wouldn't blame any of them for finally coming forward. I believe that Dr. Howell IS moving the district in the correct direction even with the slowdown of having to deal with a board that is trying to micro-manage. Pat Gleason knows the role of the board. Use the big-businees analogy if you will: the Board of Directors hires a CEO and trusts the CEO to hire the right CFO, and VP's to produce the best product for the price and still earn a profit. Substitue Board of Directors for Board of Ed., the CEO is Dr. Howell. The CFO and VP's would be the rest of the directors and administrators. The product is the students of this community and the profit is preparing them well to be productive, successful adults.

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reallocal 7 years, 8 months ago

Born and raised. I agree, it is a travesty that we cannot pay enough to attract and retain good teachers in this community. Perhaps if we could have saved all of the money spent over the years on laywer fees and mediators since John's witchhunt began we would be in the position to offer a better package for teachers? The more money we waste on him the less money we have directly benefitting our children's educations. That is the bottom line.

As for driving off some of the best teachers, do you think that some of them left because of the board's inability to control DeVincentis and they wanted to jump ship before the internal politics of the district became unbearable? I sympathize with teachers, especially right now. I think everyone familiar with the district has known this storm has been coming for a while. Good for the ones who got out in time. The rest of us, however, face a decision.

This is not about Howell. Formerstudent, I urge you to examine your options. Attempting to deflect the controversy from John is not going to save him now. Nor should it.

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jnprn 7 years, 8 months ago

So, reallocal, would you take Dr. Howell off your speed-dial if you discovered she was "Boatthroat?"

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reallocal 7 years, 8 months ago

I don't actually have her phone number, but yes to your general question. In a heartbeat. I have always believed people should be held responsible for their actions, and if it were proven that she were unethically involved in this situation, I could no longer support her. We shall see...

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