An open letter to our community:
You may be trying to decide whether to get involved in the debate regarding the School Board. You may be wrestling with the question of whether Dr. John DeVincentis is a gifted educator - as we know he was in the past - or if something has changed and the person revealed in the e-mails is the DeVincentis who now sits on your School Board.
As a parent of a Soda Creek Elementary School student, I did not know DeVincentis as a principal, but I did get to know him during the two years I was an administrator with the district in my role as nutrition services director. Although DeVincentis has many admirable traits, I feel compelled to invite members of the community to talk to those who attend School Board meetings and ask what he has been like as a board member. Unfortunately, I believe you will hear from those who attend that he has been unprofessional, rude, condescending, hateful, unappreciative and disrespectful and that he has focused his effort not only on the superintendent but on any other person in a role he questioned. Although there isn't an organization in the world that wouldn't benefit from a critical review of all of its roles and positions, it is entirely inappropriate to approach an effort of this type by personally attacking the individual who happens to be in that position at the time. DeVincentis has done exactly this with more than one person. In fact, DeVincentis even attacked Michael Loomis during the 2005 campaign in spite of the fact that Loomis had supported DeVincentis in the past.
Perhaps DeVincentis' behavior in meetings has not been at the appalling level revealed in the e-mails, but it certainly has been beyond what we all should expect of a leader in our community. DeVincentis' actions continue to waste the energy of many of our district's teachers, employees and leaders and are a drain on the precious resources we need to focus on our students.
Community members, I ask you to strongly consider becoming informed about what is really happening by talking to people you trust who can speak to DeVincentis' more recent behavior. I also implore Denise Connelly to immediately ask for and receive John DeVincentis' resignation from the School Board so we can return to focusing our collective energies where we should be - on our students.