FAIRFIELD — No evidence supports Fairfield High School Principal Tim Halloran’s description that secrecy is the norm at the school district he contends is managed by fear, intimidation and bullying, said Fairfield-Suisun School District Superintendent Kris Corey.
“I’m saddened by his perspective,” Corey said. “I pride myself on being very open.”
His remarks are unfortunate for the hard-working school district administrators whose jobs are an around-the-clock, 24-7 undertaking, the superintendent said.
“Our administrators earn every penny of their salaries – and then some,” she said.
While Halloran, who is resigning as principal, complained that the school district never recognized Fairfield High’s success in school accreditation, Corey referred to an April 7 email she sent, congratulating him.
“I don’t know why he would say that,” Corey said of Halloran’s description of the district.
The superintendent praised the principal’s accomplishments at Fairfield High School.
“He came into a school that was very troubled two years ago,” Corey said. “He’s rebuilt hope and culture in that school.”
She said site administrators such as Halloran and others in the Fairfield-Suisun district are well compensated for their work – with high expectations by the school district for their performance.
Halloran was paid $148,077 plus benefits and retirement, according to the district.
Corey said no plans were in place to remove Halloran or other principals and she doesn’t know why Halloran said he was asked to resign during a February meeting at the school district office. The superintendent said she didn’t attend the meeting but understood concerns were raised about Halloran, who has an Oregon license plate on his vehicle, moving out of the area.
She disputed Halloran’s account that other principals have faced the same problems he did but don’t step forward out of fear of losing their jobs.
“This is not something we’ve heard,” Corey said.
She said her communications about Fairfield-Suisun School District matters includes Twitter, Facebook and a monthly electronic newsletter.
The superintendent said she’s also surprised by Halloran’s statement that Corey may not like him. All her interactions with the school principal were pleasant and professional, Corey said.
Fairfield-Suisun is proud of the progress at Fairfield High, she said, adding that even Halloran “admits there’s a lot more to do.”
Three trustees on the seven-member school board responded to requests for comment about Halloran’s resignation. David Isom said in an email that he trusts the superintendent responded sufficiently, while Perry Polk declined to comment and Pat Shamansky referred the matter to Isom, the board president, and Corey.
Laurel Salerno-White, president of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association, said Fairfield High instructors are disappointed that Halloran is resigning.
“He got out of the way of teachers and let them do what they do best,” said Salerno-White, who taught at Fairfield High from 1986-2013.
Salerno-White said Halloran’s account that secrecy is the norm at the Fairfield-Suisun School District and that it’s managed by fear, intimidation and bullying does not match her experience.
“I’ve never noticed that,” she said. “But that’s only me. I don’t know what he experienced.”
Salerno-White said conditions at Fairfield High improved with the departure of the principal who preceded Halloran. Salerno-White said she’s not surprised by the accreditation success the school achieved this year.
“I’d seen what the teachers are doing,” she said.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.