Martin L. Lamansky: Right to fair process

Advertisement

— There is a saying that, for some people, perception becomes reality. Unfortunately, it seems that your editorial concerning Mike Knezevich takes your perception and has made it reality for everyone.

Your editorial states that he "rallied his staff" and "urged them to go to the board to save his job." What, in fact, happened is that he held a meeting in which he stated what was going to happen at the board meeting because several staff members had asked him what was going on. Rumors were rampant and staff wanted to know what was going on. When he addressed the staff, he provided the timeline of what had happened. At no time did he "urge the staff to go to the board." Instead, he left the meeting after being asked a few questions by staff members because he did not want anyone to feel like they were required to do anything.

The staff then stayed and aired comments. The comments included those on both sides. While it was announced that a petition was available, it was deliberately not at the meeting so that nobody felt they had to sign it. The petition was an idea that several teachers had developed without any, and I emphasize any, consultation with Mr. Knezevich. It was made clear that anyone who wanted to review it could find those that had developed it. There was no attempt that I know of to force or intimidate anyone to sign it. As a matter of fact, most people were not even approached. There was less pressure here than someone standing outside of the post office asking for signatures.

Your editorial has a nice little, not so subtle, attack on those who support Mr. Knezevich when it states that it will "incite his allies to plead his case before the school board." Your comments make it clear that you see his "allies" or people who support him as wrong and they should be given less credibility in their support. I was not aware of the fact that we lost our right to express our concerns based on who we believe may not be getting fair treatment. At least three of us already had requested to speak to the board before the staff meeting.

What your editorial does not address is the core issue of this entire situation, and that is the way that the process for this has unfolded, the timeliness of notification and the evaluation system used. These are the core issues, and perhaps when all parties, including your Editorial Board, focus in on these then everyone can move forward to address concerns.

I was at the board meeting. I addressed my concerns. I think that everyone has the right to do so. I think that everyone has the right to a fair process, including Mike Knezevich.

Martin L. Lamansky

Steamboat Springs

Comments

BowWow1 6 years, 8 months ago

People: In case you have forgotten what and editorial is please read below

"Definitions of 'editorial' (ÄdÄ-tÃ'rÄ-Él, -tÅr-)  The American Heritage® Dictionary

editorial (n.) An article in a publication expressing the opinion of its editors or publishers.

An editorial, leader (UK), or leading article (UK) is an article in a newspaper or magazine that expresses the opinion of the editor, editorial board, or publisher.

An opinion is a person's ideas and thoughts towards something. It is an assessment, judgment or evaluation of something. An opinion is not a fact, because opinions are either not falsifiable, or the opinion has not been proven or verified. If it later becomes proven or verified, it is no longer an opinion, but a fact."

As long as I can remember newspapers have exercised their right to express their opinion. Marty, you and others on this blog may not agree with their take but they have a right to print their opinion just as others have a right to counter with theirs. The Pilot's opinion of the situation was also based on interviews with several staff members who were at the same staff meeting that you were at. Just a different view point of how they saw it.

Also fellow bloggers please respect others right to disagree with you. This forum is here to present to sides of the issue. Remember " what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular."

0

weallnutz 6 years, 8 months ago

When the editorial and its opinions are based on false facts that are then incorporated into the editorial then its no longer a harmless opinion. Its clear that many of the statements that the paper made as fact were wrong, therefore the reasoning is completely wrong. You cannot defend the fact that the pilot accused Mike of putting pressure on his staff, encouraging the petition, etc etc etc,. The Pilot still owes Mike an apology and the rest of us more responsible reporting.

0

weallnutz 6 years, 8 months ago

PS. Notice how the longer tenured well respected teachers, ie. Meek and Lamansky are all sticking up for Mike...that should tell us something don't ya think.

0

carson 6 years, 8 months ago

Let's let the board make this decision. Everyone needs to quit bashing Mike and others using this forum. If you have something you want the board or the superintendent to know, tell them. They need to hear both sides.

0

wissbecklarry 6 years, 8 months ago

I was at the staff meeting when Principal Mike Knezevich sought to address rumors about his status. While I was not taking notes and cannot quote him word for word, my clear recollection is: He said that he has been through many evaluations during his 20 plus years in education. His most recent evaluation was the first to rate him less than "good" or "excellent." He said his most recent evaluation (apparently from Dr. Smyser) was unsatisfactory. He said the unsatifactory evaluation was accompanied by three options: Be fired, resign or work to improve the areas where he had been adjudged unsatisfactory. He apparently chose option three. As personnel evaluations are buried behind some strict walls of secrecy I'll (we'll) probably never be able to check whether his past evaluations were actually "good" or "excellent." Judging from his five year history of contract renewals here in Steamboat one would have to presume his past perfomance has been pretty good.
A shorthand version of that process would be: Good, Good, Good, Good, Good, you're fired! With an almost brand new School Board, a brand new Superintendent, (And another to follow), five? new prinicpals in the past five years, and more than 50% of the high school staff with fewer than three years experience, our school system is in a state of turmoil. If we are to prevent the turmoil from continuing perpetually somebody out there needs to take a deep breath and start practicing the art of administration. Firing folks and endlessly looking for better replacements is not working out that well. Did I mention expensive?
In the interest of full disclosure, I am among the probationary teachers at the High School. And when I encounter problems I most often start working on them by taking a deep breath and thinking.

0

BowWow1 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe the pressure to support Mike isn't blatantly coming from him. It is easier to sit back and let others do the work for you. It is subtle pressure that permeates the high school. And maybe the real pressure comes from those older staff members towards the newer ones??? Is there some reason to believe that the opinion of the 20+ year teachers is any better than those teaching five or ten years? And what about the 20+ year teachers that weren't there to support Mike. Again, silence speaks volumes.

0

weallnutz 6 years, 8 months ago

Bow Wow, you should speak try speaking volumes then.....ok sorry that was just a joke, a pun. Anyway, as somebody who has experienced all of the above mentioned as both coworkers and a student, I would say that the people speaking have my utmost respect as good upstanding citizens with an honest opinion and plenty of experience on which to base that opinion on. What does a 3 year teacher base an opinion on.....what the university told them should happen...nope the people who spoke know what they're talking about....listen!

0

armchairqb 6 years, 8 months ago

Turmoil IS the correct word I was looking for to discribe the current situation in our distict. So how do we fix it? How do we attract new and excellent staff. Not by letting Symser go, not by making Mike K go, and not by letting someone outside see what a mess the school board is!!!!!!!Who in the world would want to COME HERE????? Get a clue Steamboat....you don't know what you've got until its gone!!!! Good luck!!!

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.