Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: To the Mt. Blue board members

There are many things I love about being an educator at Mt. Blue. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to work alongside the talented teachers, educational technicians, custodians, administrators, secretaries, bus drivers, and other staff members of this district. Come into any of our schools and you will see that we wear our titles proudly and we work to give each child a great education. Singularly, this cannot happen. It takes a village to raise our community’s children and we go above and beyond each day to meet their needs and give them our all.

We are professionals and I used to feel respected for that title by the board and superintendent. We were respected for the time, energy, dedication, and tears we put into our work. We were trusted and seen as valued members and contributors of the team. However, this year especially there is a different feeling in the air. I don’t feel valued. I don’t feel respected. We feel unappreciated and unheard by the board and superintendent. We have tried to explain this. We have stood up and raised our hands in board meetings to address our concerns, sent emails, letters, and more. You didn’t listen to our testimonies or perspectives so we took to voting. Even then our vote was blatantly disregarded and you felt “blindsided.”

When I was hired in this district, applicants were plentiful. Now, we have over twenty open positions that have stood empty for months. We’re losing our reputation as a district and teachers are contemplating whether they should leave for districts that appreciate, value, and support them. This is not something that I want to do; I love my community and job but I can’t work in a place that undermines my fellow employees as well as myself.

According to your mission statement, “the board recognizes that the most important element in a quality education program is the staff.” And one of your goals listed is “to develop a climate that will encourage superior performance, high morale and professional satisfaction.” I would encourage you to evaluate yourself. Are you standing true to your mission statement and goals? Are you valuing us and providing a civil working environment for employees? Are we working together or separately? What is the plan going forward to start considering educators, administration, and staff as valued members and contributors to district policies and procedures?

I would like you to take the time to reflect on what led you to become a board member. Are you living up to your own expectations? Is your impact positively affecting this district and the children we serve? As I mentioned, it takes a village to raise a child. We cannot do it without your support.

Emily Schanck

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