District and teachers association will meet to discuss grievances | AspenTimes.com

District and teachers association will meet to discuss grievances

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

Despite a turbulent end of the school year, Aspen High School principal Kim Martin had a new contract signed the first week of June that extends her employment at the high school through June 30, 2015.

Martin said she’s moving forward with her summer schedule while working with the district and the association to resolve any differences that might exist.

“Research has shown that building principals make over 400 decisions each day, some major and some that are less so,” Martin said in an email. “With over 60 faculty and staff at Aspen High School working in an environment where they have had and continue to have a great deal of autonomy, it is unreasonable to believe that everyone or even most faculty and staff are going to support every decision, collaborative or not, that is made at Aspen High School.”

Even as graduation ceremonies were taking place, Martin and vice principal Mark Grice were scrutinized by the Aspen Education Association as sources reported that both were given a vote of “no confidence” at an association meeting on June 5.

The association reportedly had a list of grievances against Martin and Grice, but those grievances haven’t been made public.

Since the June 5 association meeting, Martin and Grice have met twice with Superintendent Dr. John Maloy to review and discuss the concerns presented by the association. Martin and Grice also were included in the individual and small-group meetings that Maloy and Assistant Superintendent Julia Roark held with teachers in order to hear their concerns and possible solutions to their concerns.

In the near future, Maloy will be facilitating a discussion between the association and the high school administration as both parties share concerns and discuss an action plan to resolve their respective concerns or differences.

“A meeting, or meetings, will occur between the parties as soon as both pull together their respective concerns and present them to me in separate meetings,” Maloy said in an email. “Following meetings with both parties, I’ll bring both sides together in order to facilitate a conversation in developing a plan of action to address the concerns of both parties. The meeting(s) is/are private and will be held in my office in the next few weeks.”

When asked specifically if she intended to stay on as principal for the upcoming school year, Martin wouldn’t answer the question directly.

“My goal is to reflect on what has occurred and move the process forward rather than dwell on the past,” Martin said.

Martin is optimistic that both sides can work out their differences and move forward as a team.

“I believe both parties have the same objectives,” Martin said. “That’s to maintain an exemplary high school, to preserve a collaborative work environment that creates supportive and unique learning experiences in which all students may excel, and to provide the highest quality of education to the students we serve. I’m confident that this process will get us back on track so these objectives can once again be realized.”

Martin has been busy interviewing candidates for the last few teaching vacancies at the high school. She left Colorado June 27 to chaperone a few students to compete in the National Future Business Leaders of America in Nashville before visiting her family in the Midwest.

The Aspen Education Association declined to comment until they are able to problem solve with administration.

The Aspen Education Association is under the umbrella of the Colorado Education Association, which is a nonprofit. The Aspen Education Association is not part of the school district, is totally supported by dues its members pay and does not have to share any information publicly.