The purpose of this letter is to provide clarification of the Editorial Board's view stated in the March 23, 2008, issue of the newspaper. There were many inaccurate statements and assumptions made about the meeting, its purpose and what was stated. I do not want this to become another controversy for the district and that is why I did not respond to the paper's past phone calls or requests for interviews regarding this matter. The primary focus at the high school now and always has been to provide the best education for our students.
The paper did correctly report that a staff meeting was held on Wednesday, March 19. The purpose of the meeting was to provide an accurate and factual statement of the existing situation. I began the meeting explaining, "I respect this staff too much for you to hear this information via rumor, through the newspaper, or to read it through the SSSD board minutes."
I informed the staff that I had been provided with three options regarding my employment:
3. The extension of the renewal deadline for the Board of Education to take action in the renewal or non-renewal of my contract no later than June 23, 2008.
Given the option of the extension, I would have the opportunity to improve in the areas addressed in my evaluation. I relayed to the staff that I would not be resigning and I would be talking with them and asking for feedback and suggestions on how they felt I could improve in these areas.
I did not ask people to rally behind me. I shared information from a letter that Dr. Smyser wrote to the staff: "I know that you are hearing rumors and are concerned about the status of your principal's job for next year. At Monday night's Board meeting the Board will be taking action on all principal's contracts. In order to allow for your comments, they will be starting at 5:30 and listening to comments in executive session (because this is a personnel matter). Please feel free to come if you would like to speak with them..."
I closed the meeting stating, "One of the things that I have always been very proud of our building is that through the many issues that the District has faced over the years, the high school has stayed out of the politics and have gone about our business of educating the students." I concluded by saying, "I know that this will not become a distraction and that our focus will remain what is best for our students." At that time I left the meeting.
I want to reiterate that my purpose for the meeting was to provide a factual basis to the situation from me first rather than through rumor, board minutes, and the newspaper.
Since that time I have heard of a petition that is being circulated. I have never supported the circulation of the petition or even referenced the petition, let alone rallied people to sign it. There would be no negative consequences for people who do not sign the petition. I am concerned with the education of the students at the high school, not who did or did not sign a petition that I have not endorsed.
The education of the high school students will always be the priority of the staff at Steamboat Springs High School.
Principal, Steamboat Springs High School