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Wolf Creek BOE tables Waterford principal appointment

An elementary school teacher spoke up against Principal Jana Thomas during Monday night’s meeting of the Wolf Creek Local Board of Education.

The teacher, who declined to give her name publicly, has taught in Wolf Creek Schools for 17 years and said Thomas has lost 20 staff members during her leadership.

“I teach and live in a wonderful district, but my building in that district is wounded. It is divided, and it needs help,” she said. “It is led by a leader who may have good intentions but her team remains divided, and it’s not getting repaired.”

The teacher said the many micromanaged parts of their day undermined their ability to teach.

“I do not know how Mrs. Thomas’ evaluations have been from year to year, but I personally know that staff members and community members have voiced their concerns to administration and the board for several years and I hope that those concerns have not fallen on deaf ears,” the teacher explained.

The appointment of Thomas as Waterford Elementary principal for a period of one year was on the agenda, but was tabled by board members. The contract would run from Aug. 1 through June 30, 2022.

Before the item came up for discussion, the board met for about 45 minutes in executive session.

In other board news, Waterford resident Tiffany Tornes spoke up during the public discussion portion of the meeting to discuss her concerns with “pop-up” virtual learning.

She said the district has done a good job of trying to make sure every student had what they needed to do the virtual learning. Parents received texts and emails saying there would be virtual learning Thursday.

“Is there any reason why we’re doing it, other than the basketball tournament?” she asked the board.

Superintendent Doug Baldwin said if school wasn’t done virtually on Thursday, it would have to be made up at the end of the year.

“We’re gonna miss school this Thursday, so the alternative would be having a look at the calendar maybe late May, and we know that not a lot of learning goes on in the last week of school either,” he said. “So it would be a matter of tacking a day on the end of the year. I think … the virtual one Thursday will be better than having a playdate at the end of the school year.”

Baldwin said he’s not a fan of virtual, but he thinks across the state, instead of having snow days in the future, schools will do virtual learning.

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