School district was a mess behind administration, board |

School district was a mess behind administration, board

School district was a mess behind administration, board

In 2007, the Aspen School Board reacted to a high school staff that questioned the ethics of one of their hires by replacing well-respected, resigning Assistant Superintendent Bev Tarpley with John Maloy. Maloy had recently received a payout of $421,000 as superintendent of Monroe County Schools in Indiana and according to the Bloomington Herald Times had created an “intimidating,” “fear”-inducing and “bullying” environment. The Aspen School Board made a conscious decision to bring this culture to the Aspen Schools. Maloy became superintendent in 2010.

In her opinion piece, Kathy Klug stated that Maloy “has directed our schools well.” Kathy, your story was not the story of most of the high school staff as evidenced by the results of the votes of no confidence. 2010 to 2015 was unlike anything I had seen in my 32-year career at Aspen High School. It was an administrative mess largely orchestrated by the board and superintendent. The high school had five different principals during this time. The board was informed of building problems as well as individual injustices in many ways. The board neither genuinely cared, nor listened, instead opting to blindly adhere to their business model with the CEO as their only employee.

Education writer Dana Goldstein states: ”We know that the principal and teacher are so powerful. It’s not the (district) administrator. … A good superintendent empowers leading visionary principals and teacher leaders at the school.” The leadership model I experienced my last five years was dominated by the superintendent, stifled meaningful discussion, intimidated questioners and practiced vindictiveness. Sycophancy and group-think were preferred and rewarded. I support the recommendations (non-renewal) of the Parent Action Committee and thank them for having the gumption to speak up. It is not easy taking on an entrenched bureaucracy.

Kirk Gregory


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