My immediate thought to the Jan. 31 article "School district administrator resigns" was, "What an obvious stunt." Are we actually to believe that the letter of resignation from Kelly Stanford, the wife of the Steamboat Pilot & Today editor, just happened to be "forwarded from a district employee"?
First of all, it should be widely held knowledge that any e-mail becomes public domain, particularly one sent to all district employees. Thus, a rational and logical conclusion is this was a premeditated ploy. Now the question becomes, was Ms. Stanford Donna Howell's puppet or muse? Are we to honestly believe one or both of them weren't trying to champion their cause through manipulative and passive-aggressive means?
I cannot think of any circumstance where I would submit a resignation by e-mail and/or approve of my superior forwarding that letter by e-mail to a mass audience - unless I had ulterior motives. Traditionally, a resignation letter states the date of departure and is not a forum for grievances. There are better times and venues for that sort of feedback, such as prior to departure. Denise Connelly had a good question: Why weren't Kelly's feelings communicated earlier?
In the past few months, I have been fortunate to study and meet many leaders in this community. Some of their collective attributes are integrity, leading by example, taking responsibility for their actions, honesty, and most importantly, fostering trust. Just yesterday I heard a representative from Dale Carnegie Training speak about relationships in business. He made an excellent point that on any relationship continuum you cannot have trust if you do not respect an individual first.
I would submit that this is a cornerstone for the problems Donna Howell and the administrative team experience. They have not exhibited good leadership skills, to include, gaining respect.
To publicize and distribute the resignation letter was an extremely poor decision. I believe a true leader, wishing to gain respect and trust, would not have taken this action.
Elisabeth A. Mullen