Teachers group mulls vote critical of Boeckx | TheUnion.com

Teachers group mulls vote critical of Boeckx

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The organization that represents most teachers in the Nevada Joint Union High School District will conduct a no confidence vote on the district superintendent this month, a union representative said Tuesday.

The vote on the performance of Superintendent Joe Boeckx will be May 23 and 24, a subcommittee of the Nevada Union High School Teachers Association unanimously decided Monday.

There is a lack of communication between teachers and district officials, said Sven Ostrom, NUHSTA president and social science teacher at Nevada Union High School.

Teachers have not seen a plan to guide the district through the economic hard times and want to know what future staffing, curriculum and programs changes will be made, he said.

Teachers also want more consistency in the hiring process for administrators and more say in decisions that affect classroom instruction, Ostrom said.

“We’re not trying to get rid of him,” Ostrom said of Boeckx. “I like Joe. (But) we want to let him know we don’t have confidence in his decision process.”

Monday’s vote came after a series of administrative changes.

Nevada Union and Bear River high schools are slated to have new principals next school year.

Bear River Principal Dick Werntz is retiring. NU Principal Marilynn Keeble, who was supposed to transfer to Sierra Foothill High School next year, has taken a position with the Butte County Office of Education. NU could also have as many as three new vice principals next school year.

“I think people are frustrated with the number of administrative changes in the district,” Ostrom said.

Teachers’ input is respected and desired and teachers are screening candidates for the principal’s position at NU, Boeckx said.

“We include (teachers) as often as we can,” he said. “But the board (of trustees) is going to reserve the final right to appoint the principal or any position at the district. That’s what they’re elected to do.

“We may have a disagreement on the appropriate degree of participation,” he added. “I’m open to discuss that.”

Boeckx wants to improve communication by scheduling monthly meetings between teachers and administration officials. The teachers would be selected by their union, he said.

The first meeting will be May 28.

The district will have to cut approximately $1.1 million – about 3.5 percent – from its 2002-03 budget, he said. Members of the classified staff could be laid off, he said, but declined to say how many. “It’s very few,” he said.

The teachers’ union will present its concerns to the board of trustees at 7 p.m. Thursday at Sierra Foothill High School.

Boeckx1s career in brief

Joe Boeckx came to the Nevada Joint Union High School District in July 1998 after 11 years as superintendent at the Lucia Mar Unified School District in San Luis Obispo County.

From 1978 through 1987, Boeckx worked for the Morongo School District in San Bernardino County, becoming superintendent of that district in 1980.

Boeckx, who began his education career as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Malawi in the early 1960s, also worked as a teacher at the Paramount Unified School District in Los Angeles County from 1968 through 1978.

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