I was surprised by the uproar over Superintendant Schmidt’s resignation and the implication that the School Board is “hiding behind a law purposefully designed to give them political cover” as quoted by the Los Alamos Monitor publisher Ben Carlson. In fact, Mr. Carlson noted that the School Board can not publically discuss personnel matters and, in fact the law was specifically designed to provide protection for the employee. However, nothing is preventing Dr. Schmidt from sharing this information if he so desires.
Having spent 24 years as a teacher in the district, I have witnessed the termination/resignation of school employees from custodian, teacher, to principal. All were given the protection of privacy and rightfully so. And all were subjected to extensive evaluations with opportunities for remediation. This protocol is also used when an employee at the laboratory is terminated.
Having attended a number of School Board meetings recently, I do not believe our current School Board has any hidden agenda. They are asked to spend incredible amounts of time to address the issues pertaining to our schools without receiving any remuneration.
There seems to be concern by many as to why we would lose such a successful superintendent. As much as I would like to give him full credit for our schools’ successes, let us not forget our parents who demand and pay for excellence in the schools, the students who work hard, the hard working and inspiring teachers, and the principals who support them. Without them there would be no schools.
We are a small and very homogeneous community when it comes to what we value in education. If we want to make positive changes in our local School Board let us first eliminate the five separate school districts and instead implement an at large election where every voter votes for each vacant seat and a candidate can run irrespective of where he lives in the county. Second, we should require every prospective candidate for School Board spend time as a substitute teacher in a classroom.
I encourage any individual who is displeased with their School Board to run in the next election.