Aspen parents did the necessary dirty work

The former superintendent of the Aspen School District recently submitted a letter attacking Bettina Slusar, a 2019 candidate for the Board of Education (“Maloy: Slusar shows ‘little regard for the truth,’” Oct. 23,

During his tenure, employees felt that they could not provide productive feedback to the former superintendent for fear of reprisal and retribution. The letter to the editor dated October 23, 2019, is a good example of the primary criticism of his management style.

The Aspen Parent Action Committee (APAC) was formed to provide a voice for employees of the district.

In the decade that he was employed, the former superintendent was able to operate unchecked. Scrutiny of financial transparency and questionable hiring practices were key points in criticism aimed at his administration last year. If processes in place were executed with fairness, transparency and integrity, then it is likely that he would still be in the job.

I applaud my fellow APAC members for having the courage to speak publicly against the culture of fear that resided within the district. Many parents took the time to educate themselves on the issues surrounding the current climate at ASD.

Current and new BOE members will have to function as a team to find common ground, explore new ideas, and tackle the difficult task of restoring public trust while searching for a new superintendent. Bettina Slusar and Patsy Kurkulis (members of APAC) have taken the next step to effect change for the greater good. These candidates understand that members of the BOE do not operate within a vacuum.

It is easy to criticize, difficult to do, publicly and even more difficult to open oneself up to criticism. If elected, candidates will commit to a volunteer position that is often a thankless job. This is an opportunity to support their energy and embrace new insights and vision for our school district.

Joan Valentine