Teachers have legitimate concerns | TheUnion.com

Teachers have legitimate concerns

With the end of the school year, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the teachers, administrators and entire staff of Deer Creek Elementary School.

Everyone at the school — from maintenance staff to principal Monica Daugherty — deserves huge kudos (and a long summer break) for successfully creating a safe, welcoming and stimulating place of learning. Our special appreciation and thanks go to our daughter's teacher, Vanessa Lackey, for her boundless energy, enthusiasm and selfless dedication to her students. Words can't express our admiration for her and the rest of the Deer Creek family. Deer Creek is a model for what an elementary school can and should be!

Our happiness is tempered, however, by the conflict between the school's faculty and Superintendent Roxanne Gilpatric ("Teachers vote no confidence for Gilpatric," May 28). Last week, dozens of teachers — working without a contract, and without a pay raise since 2007 — presented the Nevada City school board a vote of no confidence in Gilpatric, citing her adversarial management style that has left them feeling disrespected and intimidated. According to their petition, teachers have been denied retirement pay, personal time and other promised benefits.

We appreciate that there are two sides to this issue; Gilpatric and school board face numerous difficult and unenviable decisions and nothing is simple when it comes to education funding and policy. But it is unacceptable that teachers feel alienated and disrespected by district leadership, and it's inconceivable to us that teachers last received a pay raise before our daughter was born.

We urge the superintendent and school board to hear our teachers' legitimate concerns. We hope both sides can come together, improve communication and build trust to make the best decisions for our school district. We trust teachers with our children; supporting them is the best way to support our kids and their futures.

John and Sarah Regan

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