E. Ray Koch: Editor misuses pen

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The DeVincentis e-mails

I have kept quiet throughout this whole sensationalized and rather personal attack on John DeVincentis that I believe Scott Stanford, editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today, has spearheaded.

I am not sure why, but I am aware of issues between DeVincentis and Stanford's wife, Kelly Stanford, in the past. I was intimately involved with Cyndy Simms and John throughout their conflicts and was part of the "team" to try and resolve their issues on a local level and, consequently, through mediation. I have supported John as a friend and have always been up front about the inappropriateness of some of his decisions. However, in all my 30 years of living and working in Steamboat as a school psychologist, I don't think I have seen such obvious vindictiveness and unethical behavior on the parts of past board members and the newspaper.

I have had many conversations with John, Cyndy, the past board and many teachers and parents (including many of the parents who supported John and were vocal about getting rid of Simms - the same parents who have turned against John and are now trying to recall him.) It is a good thing that their conversations about Cyndy were not recorded because many comments were just as full of anger and frustration as John's e-mails. I think most people would see it as venting, personal feeling and, perhaps, gossip, but they would not even think about telling anyone, let alone putting it in the newspaper and then taking every opportunity to repeat the transgressions as many times as possible.

As despicable as Paula Stephenson's, Pat Gleason's, Donna Howell's and others' behavior has been, I believe Scott Stanford's behavior takes the prize. In my mind he has gone over the top.

Most of us will never know what really motivated his misuse of the editor's pen, but I think it is transparent to most that it was more than just his journalistic duty. What a travesty.

E. Ray Koch

Grand Junction

Comments

boatski 7 years, 5 months ago

Hey - Ray, your forgetting the fact the John spent two years on the school's computer system venting his anger.

"In violation of school policies, they were disturbingly vitriolic and unprofessional."

Anyone else at any other job would be fired on the spot, if they had done this.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 5 months ago

Hey Boatski-

Your forgetting that Paula Stephenson kept what became confidential emails for 2 years after she left office! What's your point?

Plus, it was stated that the personal emails from anyone in school was not enforced. Point the fingers at all who deserve it next time.

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beagle 7 years, 5 months ago

Great letter from someone who was involved with all these players. Congrats for actually printing it.

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mom 7 years, 5 months ago

Nice letter Ray. I couldn't agree with you more.

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another_local 7 years, 5 months ago

My understanding is that the editorial position of the paper is determined by the editorial board, not by Scott. SS is just one vote of several, of which 2 are outsiders.

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feeley 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you, Ray. Finally someone is getting to the real crux of the matter. In my quest to determine what this was really all about, I asked several people in the school system in various positions many questions and was told exactly the same thing...this is a personal vendetta as described in your letter.

I am still amazed that the Pilot has not printed the investigative report, or at least that part describing the way Howell got the personal emails. Her reasons, as reported in the investigation, were obviously a failed attempt to cover up her unethical behavior. It seems to me after everything else that has been printed, the report MUST be printed to maintain any semblance of journalistic integrity.

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80488mom 7 years, 5 months ago

Cyborgdreams - I can only imagine that you really don't know Bryna but just wanted to poke fun at the paper's staff in general. She's about as down to earth and honest as they get. If you knew her I think you would like her and find her a very interesting and intriguing person.

If we learn anything from this I would hope it is to be more compassionate with one another. There have been so many mean and hateful comments about so many people thrown around and it reflects poorly on our community.

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Vince arroyo 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes, Fingers have been pointed, lives disrupted, Yes 80488mom compassionate is truly what is needed. let us all show the way. By leading our actions by example.

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stillinsteamboat 7 years, 5 months ago

Ray, thank you, from all the parents and kids John has devoted his life to. I don't remember ever seeing DH in the classroom sitting on the floor with the kids,or Pat,or Paula,or Tammy either...I can't believe the way some of the parents of his former students have nailed him to the cross.

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feeley 7 years, 5 months ago

I think the investigative report should have been printed IN THE NEWSPAPER. Articles summarizing its contents have not accurately portrayed it. We have been inundated with biased reporting - show us the real thing.

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Scott Stanford 7 years, 5 months ago

Feeley:

In addition to posting the report online, the Pilot & Today printed the report on Pages 14 and 15 of the July 4 edition. The report was released on July 3.

You can obtain a copy of the July 4 edition at the Pilot & Today office.

Scott Stanford Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today editor@steamboatpilot.com (970) 871-4221/(970) 291-9278

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bikegirl 7 years, 5 months ago

As I have said-John's true character has been exposed,that is a truth.Are there more truths to be exposed-looks like it-I have never "taken sides' my issue has been with John's conduct.

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linus 7 years, 5 months ago

The Pilot did print the investigation - it was on July 4. It's at http://www2.steamboatpilot.com/news/2... You can also view it at www.sssd.k12.co.us. The transcripts of the actual interviews are supposedly going to be out as of tomorrow which I bet will be even more telling.

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80488mom 7 years, 5 months ago

People will come and stay. More homes will be built. But I remember the reason I came and stayed was because of the people. Everyone looked out for one another, helped one another and there was a real sense of community. Great pride was taken in being a "local". All children were held to high expectations and you knew that you could count on the eyes of the community to let you know if yours was out of line. The good thing was they knew it too! If your kid forgot their lunch money you could count on Sherry to pull it from her pocket and you could pay her back. They wouldn't go hungry on her watch.

The good news is many people who were the backbone of this small community remain and I agree with hometown we can show the way by leading by example and showing everyone what living in Steamboat is really about. It's the people who made this town special long before the rich, the famous and the developers started prospecting.

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bikegirl 7 years, 5 months ago

boatski-another voice of reason stating the facts-thank you.

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stillinsteamboat 7 years, 5 months ago

bikegirl: I guess the truth did finally come out in the report. Your side doesn't look so good.

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stillinsteamboat 7 years, 5 months ago

Are John's comments really going to affect the way he treats our children? I don't think so. Is Donna Howell's shocking behavior going to affect my children? I'm pretty sure it already has.

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stillinsteamboat 7 years, 5 months ago

I can't believe the way DH negotiated a HUGE package for herself, just in case. If she steps down and accepts the money she is literally stealing from our children and their teachers. I don't know how she can live with herself. I'm so angry.

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exteacher 7 years, 5 months ago

cyborg, stillinsteamboat -

Your right, they are all corrupt. How can dh live with herself in the past and now? She has been a lying, 2-faced witch for the 3 years I have had to work under her. She will have no problem stealing all this money from this district if she is let go - which she should be. She has NO integrity or honor or conscience. I have seen this personally - especially this past school year. She needs to go..... at any cost. Too bad she is so old - she'll probably retire on the fat contract we will have to pay out.... otherwise her reputation would be ruined, and she would never get another position in education anywhere else. She rightfully deserves to have some hardships and struggle, just like she created for so many others here. I can only hope Karma is working overtime for her. She singlehandedly ended my teaching career here, to the disapointment of many. Angry? You have no idea!!!

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