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School Board Trustee Responds to Teachers' Union's Accusations
Lewis Buchner addresses the issues raised by the WSCTA's Resolution about Superintendent Chris Meredith
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By Lewis Buchner
Buchner responds to a formal resolution passed last week by the teachers’ union (WSCTA). See this article for the details about the resolution.
As a trustee on the West County High School Board, I would like to respond in more detail to the accusations of discrimination published about our superintendent.
I believe there is a common sense approach to complaints that is based on mutual respect and “assuming good intentions” that goes something like this:
Talk directly to the person you have a complaint with. “I want to work with you better, but I’m having some problems in our communication. Would you be open to some feedback? Can we talk?”
After meeting a few times without resolution, then bring the issue to the board. Every board member is willing to meet with any administrator or teacher at any time, with an open mind. “I’m having issues with the superintendent, can we talk?”
“I’m filing a written complaint.”
After a reasonable time, “I’ve still not resolved my issues with the superintendent and if they are not resolved soon, I may decide to leave the district to work elsewhere.”
This is not what happened. Steps 1 through 4 were skipped. The board cannot manage what it doesn’t know about. We need to be treated as allies in an effort to improve collaboration throughout the district. We were blindsided, and that hurts.
Also, the accusations listed in the teachers’ Resolution are excellent coaching points, and are receiving careful consideration, but they also are not measurable and not something the board can terminate the superintendent's contract over. A problem with someone’s "tone" is not fair to characterize as “discrimination”.
This school year, with Chris as superintendent, has clearly not been a failure. We have seen increasing engagement and enthusiasm throughout our academic and non-academic programs. And next year will be even better as we double our commitment to DEI and Transformational Coaching.
To those who are leaving, we are grateful for your excellent work for our district. You have helped guide us through seismic changes and we sincerely thank you. But please help us make this transition in peace, and with dignity, and without losing focus on why we are here; our students.
The West Sonoma County Union High School Board of Trustees will meet this Wednesday May 3rd at Laguna High School, El Molino Library. Open session starts at 6 pm. The public and other board members will have the opportunity to comment at that time.
Trustee Debbie Ramirez and the District have asked staff and the school community to share their views on what the District should consider when selecting the next Principal for Analy High School. The District announced two Listening Sessions.
A session for Staff on Thursday May 4th from 4:30 pm to 5:15 pm at Analy Theatre.
A session for Students and Families on two dates:
Thursday May 4th from 5:30 pm to 6:45 pm at Analy Theatre
Thursday May 11th from 5:30 pm to 6:45 pm at El Molino / Laguna Library.