Tuesday, July 29, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Fairfield High teacher tells trustees: I quit

23 fairfield school dist protest 1

Fairfield High students gather at Thursday's meeting of Fairfield-Suisun School District to support principal Tim Halloran. He resigned this month and said secrecy is the norm at the school district managed by fear, intimidation and bullying. The district disputes his description. (Ryan McCarthy/Dailiy Republic).

By
From page A1 | May 23, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — A teacher described as “the rock of Fairfield High School” resigned Thursday and told Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees, “I can’t work for this district anymore.”

“I just don’t think I can work for a district that I think is morally and ethically wrong,” said Gretchen Schwab, 36.

She praised Tim Halloran, the Fairfield High School principal who resigned this month.

“We had the leadership of an amazing principal,” Schwab told trustees – and added, “You don’t listen to us.”

Halloran, 54, has said secrecy is the norm in the school district managed by fear, intimidation and bullying – and that Fairfield-Suisun district administrators harassed him out of his job.

Statements made Thursday by Schwab and other teachers, as well as students, came during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Judi Honeychurch, president-elect of the board, said trustees don’t comment about statements made during that part of the school board meeting.

Before teachers and students spoke to support Halloran, the school district superintendent, board president and Honeychurch made statements about the Fairfield-Suisun district with a student enrollment of about 21,500.

David Isom, board president, said in a statement read Thursday that the school district was receiving a lot of negative attention, said he supported Superintendent Kris Corey and other district administrators and that all of the gossip he’s heard is just that – gossip.

He said all will be well if the media and others fueling negative energy focused on Fairfield-Suisun’s mission.

Honeychurch said the school board has an excellent superintendent and urged people to be role models for students. Corey said blogs have become a socially accepted form for cyberbullying and said she hopes adults will promote kindness.

During public comment, Fairfield High teacher Mary Llewelyn thanked Halloran for all his hard work. She said she was a skeptic when the principal arrived two years ago but became a believer.

Now, Llewelyn said, “We at Fairfield High School are left in a cloud of anxiety and uncertainty.”

Cynthia Coble told trustees she’s been teaching at the school for seven years and that Fairfield High has come so far – but keeps getting kicked and knocked down. She said she hopes Kristen Witt, named Thursday as the new principal, can follow in Halloran’s footsteps.

Environmental science teacher Jill Bolduc said Fairfield High had a school administration that supported its staff.

“I’m sad to see that ending,” Bolduc said.

Student Malcom Tyson said of Halloran, “We appreciate everything he’s done,” and asked how the school district could bully Halloran until he decided to quit.

Public comment didn’t begin until 90 minutes into the meeting and Fairfield High teacher Beth Traub said the Vallejo School District moves up such statements to the first hour – especially when students wish to speak.

Traub said the delay didn’t deter the youths.

“These kids are not going to leave until they have their say,” she said.

Kelsi Savko, student body president at Fairfield High, after the meeting described teacher Schwab as the rock of the school, said she’s saddened by her resignation and praised principal Halloran’s work.

“You see such a positive change,” Savko said of the school. And then, she said, referring to the school district administration, “It’s taken away by the snap of a finger.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

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Discussion | 42 comments

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  • AngelaMay 23, 2014 - 12:46 am

    It is worrying that the board president classes the 'negative attention' the district is getting as 'gossip' and that Corey classes it as 'cyber bullying.' Consider the source. This negative attention is coming from top students, concerned parents, an accreditation winning principal and dedicated educators. It sounds as if Schwab's claim that 'you don't listen' is bang on.

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  • Not going to argue with you people this is my 2 centsMay 23, 2014 - 2:24 am

    If that teacher is so quick to abandon the school and students because of a change in principle or an opinion of the board then I'd say it's probably best that the kids not be exposed to her. When the going gets tough... People quit and walk out instead of trying to change things... In life their will always be people you don't like or agree with weather it be a boss a coworker etc. you just be an adult and deal with it not wine and quit. Everyone needs to remember why they are there... To EDUCATE kids!

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  • SheenaMay 23, 2014 - 4:26 am

    I can't believe I just read your comment. (2 cents). Schwab is standing up for her beliefs and that is something children need to be taught. Bullying anyone, a teacher, a child, or human being period is wrong. Bullying the principal until he decided to resign is an utter shame, and the fact that this educator stood up for her beliefs and teaching the students that you must stand up for one another is not a bad thing to be exposed to! Shows how much you know, she has been teaching there for many years and as an old student of hers (when she first started teaching there 11 years ago) she was one of the best teachers I ever had. She made it fun to learn and actually got all the kids excited about learning. I can't say that about many other teachers I had. The school board will be missing a great teacher, but they need to wake up and realize that bullying someone has outcomes on everyone. They are teaching the youth that it is OK to bully others into getting what you want. (in this case, getting the principal to quit.) It is a domino effect. Best of luck to Schwab and my applause to those students that spoke up.

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  • My2centsMay 23, 2014 - 7:28 am

    I enjoy reading my paper and commenting on stories that peek my interest. Recently however, I have noticed that another person has adopted the habit of posting comments that include my blog name "my2cents." I will post under another name in the future so the person who has adopted the name can pursue her agenda.

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  • GomanGoMay 23, 2014 - 7:32 am

    @My2cents "pique" would be proper.

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  • LyssaMay 23, 2014 - 11:02 am

    I personally know that teacher, and she has been there for YEARS and is a very caring loving awesome teacher. It's the district that has the problems, and they threw me under the bus when I worked for them too!!

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  • Concerned citizenMay 23, 2014 - 8:50 pm

    This district has allowed the bullying of staff by administrators and district personnel, I'm glad there has been so much negative press as they have truly earned this! They are bullying the best put of here and keeping their friends regardless of the results they have with the students!!!! It is truly sad but karma will get them as it gets everyone!

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  • AngelMay 23, 2014 - 11:39 am

    I am laughing at "not going to argue". The grammar and spelling errors in your comment tells me you did not proofread your comment. Maybe one should take a English class again. I'm surprised nobody else commented on that.

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  • CD BrooksMay 23, 2014 - 12:00 pm

    Angel, the point is to get folks interested and participate. Expressing a point of view could be something everyone might want to do and there's no reason to call out errors, that takes the fun away.

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  • Hmm...May 24, 2014 - 8:27 am

    Angel, I believe it would be proper to say, "One should take an English class...." just saying.

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  • Jennifer Myers FrenchMay 23, 2014 - 12:29 pm

    My2Cents... Clearly you are a person of great experience and knowledge in our district when you refer to Ms. Gretchen Schwab as "that teacher" and "wine and quit..." (spelling!) I actually know and have worked with Ms. Schwab at FHS for a decade. She doesn't just whine and quit. She gets up at 4 in the morning, grades papers, plans lessons and manages an hour training-- usually for an athletic undertaking that would send the rest of us crying home to our mommas. Then Ms. Schwab comes to Fairfield High and holds NOTHING BACK from her teaching and mentoring efforts. She advocates for students outside the classroom and leads her peers. I know the students she has impacted... because the same kids have been in my classes as well. They have experienced success in AP classes and in earning 4-year college degrees because of Gretchen's help. And students can sometimes be negative... IN 10 YEARS I HAVE NEVER KNOWN ONE OF MS. SCHWAB'S STUDENTS TO GIVE HER ANYTHING BUT RESPECT AND PRAISE. EITHER YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH TEACHERS OR YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN EDUCATOR. If Ms. Schwab's found a better position at another district where she can serve students as well or better than here it's because she's got the professional prowess to write her own ticket. WHAT POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION CAN YOU OFFER???

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  • patrickMay 23, 2014 - 1:59 pm

    don't think spell check on your computer would help you.

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  • ADTMay 23, 2014 - 3:52 pm

    To insinuate that Schwab has lost sight of "why she is there: to educate kids" just shows that this person has NO idea about the issue they're speaking on. Schwab has been an excellent teacher for many years, but she has also been so much more than that. She creates a spark of inspiration for the students at FHS, a support system inside and outside of the classroom, and a mentor that students feel comfortable with and look up to. To say that she was quick to leave at the change of a principle is so far off, as anybody who has been around FHS knows that principles hardly stay longer than 2 years and there has been many changes in the years that Schwab has been there. And as for "when the going gets tough, people walk out and quit" - the going isn't "getting tough"... Anybody who can be on the inside and say that the FSUSD school district is great must be seriously confused!! This is not the first time FHS students have taken their issues to the board meetings- I, myself, have been at a meeting with a flood of students filling the room and out into the hallway. And if you find none of my points valid then let me just finish by saying 5 years ago I was lucky enough to have had Schwab as a teacher, a volleyball coach, and an overall mentor and can honestly say that in my 15 years of schooling she has left one of the longest lasting impressions on me. I'm so thankful to have been "exposed" to a teacher like her, who cares SO much about her students- past and present. AND who stood by me and my classmates, years ago, as we filled the board meeting to fight for what we believed in.

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  • FHS StudentMay 23, 2014 - 3:57 pm

    Your name, "Not going to argue with you people this is my 2 cents", is slightly ironic due to the implications in your comment. You have no idea who you are referring to, obviously, and your entire argument is invalid. First off, you are stating that Ms. Schwab is being "...quick to abandon the school and students because of a change in principle or an opinion of the board...". For 11 years Ms. Schwab has worked at our school, and has endured the bullying of the District Office. I don't think that is a short time at all. She is one of the few teachers who has put all her effort into making our school amazing, and is extremely sad that she has to be leaving because she cannot endure the degradation of the School Board any longer. Having to resign has not come easy to her, if it had I don't think she would have been crying in class when she announced her plans. She explicitly stated that if she could she would bring every single one of us with her. Also, she is not abandoning us, she will be coming back to visit and check up on her students. "...it's probably best that the kids not be exposed to her." is one of the most arrogant statements I have ever heard. Every single student at Fairfield High School has been affected by Ms. Schwab's effort to change our school, both directly and indirectly. I have never met a fellow school mate who has spoken negatively of Ms. Schwab and there has never been a dull moment in class. Of the two years I have had her (both freshman year and this year (I am a junior)) she has never raised her voice, and makes learning fun and easy but when someone is out of line she can be strict and is well respected by everyone. "When the going gets tough... People quit and walk out instead of trying to change things..." She has dedicated the past two years, along with Mr. Halloran who was also bullied out of his job, to fixing our school, and has succeeded to a large degree. No one is perfect, and there will always be stuff that is left undone, but I believe that the dedicated teachers at our school have succeeded more than anyone else could have, especially with this kind of pressure. "...you just be an adult and deal with it not wine and quit." Primarily, your spelling leaves a lot to be desired. Secondly, Ms. Schwab has not whined once. Before making comments, make sure you have evidence and do not sound ignorant.

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  • FHS Junior.May 23, 2014 - 7:47 pm

    "Not going to argue with you people this is my 2 cents." I think this is an interesting comment. Ms. Schwab is an incredible teacher. She didn't resign because of opinions; it's because of the facts. The fact that our district obviously doesn't care about the students, the fact that our district is corrupt, the fact that our voices are unheard or ignored, the fact that dealing with this district is stressful and can have an impact on her health... You can't say she whines and quits because you've obviously never experienced dealing with morally and ethically wrong people. There comes a point where we need to realize that for the sake of our sanity, for the sake of our well-being, enough is enough. I understand you have an opinion, but please don't disrespect Ms. Schwab or any hard-working person for doing what is best for them. You don't know the things she's had to deal with. And just so you know: Ms. Schwab is the most dedicated, conscientious, considerate teacher I've had the pleasure to have. The same words describe Mr. Halloran.

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  • 2realMay 23, 2014 - 6:05 am

    Maybe she should get a restraining order. And hold a sign out front of the school

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  • The MisterMay 23, 2014 - 6:42 am

    To paraphrase; Honeychurch said the school board has circled the wagons and gone into self-preservation mode.

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  • FrauMay 23, 2014 - 7:14 am

    I teach in FSUSD and have since 1997. I have found the current district administration the easiest to work with, least confrontational, and most consensus building administration we have ever had. I appreciate that the superintendent and her staff listen and respond to our concerns. Chris Corey is approachable, responds personally to email concerns, and meets with faculties across the district. When I have spoken with her in the past, I have had 100% of her attention and things happened to change for the better at my site because of our discussion. I understand others may choose to leave the district because they don't feel comfortable or they have had a different experience than mine. I do feel comfortable, appreciated, and know that I can communicate with anyone at the district level and I will be heard. Voting with your feet is a time honored tradition in our country and my vote is to keep walking back into Rodriguez and teaching great kids everyday at school. It's the best job on the planet.

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  • My2centsMay 23, 2014 - 7:15 am

    Echheartless. If you disagree on the issue raised in the article then express why you do in a civilly respectful manner. Whether or not you are attracted to someone else's wife is of no consequence and merely let's people know they should disregard any thoughts coming out of your small mind. YOU sir are a bully.

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  • My 2 CentsMay 23, 2014 - 8:50 am

    Its sad that a good teacher is leaving. What is sad is the community didn't learn from the school closure threats two years ago. This is all an extension from the problem two years ago, The community rose and came to those meetings, filling the meeting room. Once the closures were avoided, I am sure that the meeting room was left empty of public interest until now. Its community management by crisis. In those two years hard decisions had to be made. If you are complaining now, I wonder how many school board meetings that you attended in-between then and now. They probably meet at least once a month, so that is a lot of meetings. A lot of time to provide suggestions. A lot of opportunity to voice an opinion. A lot of time to come up with alternative plans.

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  • My2centsMay 23, 2014 - 10:25 am

    I enjoy reading my paper and commenting on stories that pique ; ) my interest. Recently however, I have noticed that another person has adopted the habit of posting comments that include my blog name "my2cents." I will post under another name in the future so the person who has adopted the name can pursue her agenda.

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  • CD BrooksMay 23, 2014 - 11:47 am

    My2cents, funny you saw that silly thing! Those of us having been here for some time made sort of a pact years ago. We're all busy some using their phones to participate and we usually communicate what we are trying to say. So spelling, typos and punctuation are forgiven, have fun!

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  • BobMay 23, 2014 - 9:14 am

    Get over yourselves, we have a rotten school district and have since my kids went to school 10 years ago, school busses driving around with 2 kids, county school busses with 5-6 kids People move out of the area so their kids go to a better school(see Vacaville ) Bullies are allowed to do as they please pushing less developed kids around, just so much fun to be had and no one to stand up for them and now I guess the teachers have given up and are leaving, at least the ones that know that they can work at better school districts, so this district gets worse, thank heavens my kids are out, We'll done Fairfield-Suisun School District!

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  • OutsidelookinginMay 23, 2014 - 9:29 am

    Home schooling is the best kind of protest to this. Forget the biased and unbiased opinions of teachers and upper echelon school board members and take matters into your own hands.

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  • George Guynn, JrMay 23, 2014 - 9:45 am

    It was so apparent last night that the board and administration is backing their way and doesn't care what others that work for the district or the public thinks. There is an election coming up in a few months. Be sure to vote out ALL INCUMBENTS!!!! BTW, Isom and Polk were appointed and never elected yet after about three years. And if enough people have the energy to do it, a recall of the rest of the board would be nice. Mr. Halloran and Ms. Schwab should get an apology and be asked to stay, but since that doesn't appear likely, the board needs to go.

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  • DeeMay 24, 2014 - 9:33 am

    DeceptionAtItsBest

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  • Dee LyteMay 24, 2014 - 9:50 am

    Last Thursday's Board Meeting opening was a prime example of someone with a filthy house who "spit" polished their silver, swept the dirt under the rug and used candle lights, to deflect the guest attention from just how dirty their house really is! To have to listen to Gov. Board Pres. Isom's statement read by his pontificating cohort Honeychurch was sad... And Honeychurch's statement expressing her devoted 'til the end allegiance to the Superintendent just confirmed what the people of Fairfield and Suisun must expeditiously do - VOTE THIS BOARD OUT! I implore the citizens of both Fairfield and Suisun to remove, excavate and replace the monstrous machine (The School Board) That will slay this current administration of FSUSD by taking the head off of this dragon! This regime CAN BE STOPPED. The Roman Empire fell. The Carter/Centano era met its end; this one can too! Don't stop until it is done! ALL of the public speakers, teachers and students spoke the truth! Don't let the speakers be discredited for having the courage to voice their experiences and feelings! The truth will rise to the top. This isn't over - this is just the beginning. Citizens, keep striking at this deceptive and treacherous regime. It will crumble. The chickens will come home to roost!

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  • Rick LemkeMay 23, 2014 - 10:11 am

    Mr. Isom thinks all the complaints are just "gossip." That made me literally laugh out loud. I have a word for Mr. Isom and the rest of the board. That word: Clueless. The first thing that happens to a new school board member is they are sent to a indoctrination retraining camp. The district calls it a "How to be a school board member workshop." It's been apparent through the years the biggest thing new board members are taught is, regardless of how overwhelming the evidence, NEVER, EVER admit they made a mistake. This current board was well trained. Pity.

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  • tiredMay 23, 2014 - 6:48 pm

    The one person on that board to ask one real, substantive question was the honorary student rep who asked what a "perceptual" study was for school district boundaries. Darned if I'd heard of "perceptual" studies for school boundaries and i've been following them for a while. Usually something like that is for selling stuff like athlete's foot remedies.

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  • MommaMay 23, 2014 - 11:04 am

    If you were not at last night's school board meeting or did not watch it on the local access channel, maybe you should before leaving your opinions as to what took place. To quote Superintendent Corey at 7:12PM 5/23/14, "We value perceptional data." Which means that everybody's opinion is valid and taken into consideration. When it came time for the community to state their concerns they were allotted 30 minutes total (which I am told is not usually invoked) at 3 minutes each, leaving time for only 10 speakers (I'm sure there were many others wanting to speak). As the last gentleman was expressing his "perceptional data" by calling out the board for their inattentiveness during the meetings (i.e., playing games, texting, sleeping) he was cut off before his 3 minute allotment and was told he has said enough. There were many cheers for his 1st constitutional amendment right proclamation, as well there should have been. Was this a public display of an attempt at the bullying we have been hearing/reading about?

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  • Present/Concerned at Board MeetingMay 23, 2014 - 12:30 pm

    Yes it is. The board commented before the public statements were read that "the board will listen respectfully but we do not respond with presenters." AND YET Mr. Feudner was cut off at two minutes because his truth was not what they wanted to hear. The truth is this board stopped listening a long time ago and does not investigate complaints. In fact, I challenge parents to come out and share the complaints you filed that were never investigated. Please share at next board meeting. In response to 2 cents, why should we stay? This is a morally bankrupt district. We know this because we live this. We can go teach in other districts - districts that are teacher/parent friendly. The teacher that quit made a strong statement. Good teachers are leaving because that's what quality people do - they go where they are supported and can truly make a difference. I hope they quit before the board so parents can see it happening. What is going to happen and is starting to happen is that this district is going to have a lot of new teachers that are naive and will say everything is great. I believe they said their BTSA program had high numbers. BTSA is a program for new teachers. When I was a new teacher, I naively believed in this district. I tried very hard to keep believing in them but it became impossible. I can't tell you how many times my jaw has dropped over the things I've seen. I now know how they operate. Parents have asked to meet with them to shed light on issues. They refused. They are not interested in a democratic process. They are the dictators as was highlighted last night when Mr. Feudner was speaking. They are harming your children, not the people who are courageous enough to step up now and shed light on these issues. Why do we speak under pseudonyms? Well, um, hm ... we still work under the dictators/bullies. Integrity begins at the top, and the top tried to shut down Mr. Feudner last night in spite of his constitutional rights to be heard like every other speaker. Imagine having these people all of a sudden visiting our classrooms because we spoke. Wouldn't you be stressed? Would that serve the students well? Parents, stand up and vote these people out. The teacher's union will support them and ask you to vote for them again. Don't fall for that. In case the district sees this as cyber bullying, allow me to clarify. This is a statement/opinion from a concerned citizen who works in the district and knows for a fact complaints have not been investigated and has witnessed many things (I'll be careful here so you don't threaten to work with "appropriate organizations to remove the libelous comments." What a statement to start a board meeting with!!) that, in my opinion, were immoral and hurt children. It is my constitutional right to speak. As much as I would love to call you names, I will not stoop to that level as I want parents to fully consider my comment and hopefully help to make needed changes at election time.

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  • MacheleMay 23, 2014 - 1:17 pm

    Can we all just start Over-- A clean slate for all? I don't think we are getting anywhere! All these feelings make me confused and uncomfortable! This is so sad!

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  • dMay 23, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    I know the district bullies parents, but now its own staff/ administration. When parents request help they enlist help of local police to intimidate and chase families away. Even worse, we pay them to do it.

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  • SadCommunityMay 23, 2014 - 1:57 pm

    Fairfield-Suisun school district is a joke!!!. All they care about is the money for every student in a chair!. Not about real education and helping students!. Unfortunately many many moons ago I was a student at Fairfield High School, I was a student who got very sick and managed to miss many days of school. The required at home school work I got did nothing for my grades. On my 18th birthday Fairfield High threw me out onto the street to the adult school. Didn't matter that I was sick and was overly willing to make up classes at summertime and at night school. The district was more concerned about filling my spot for the $$$ than helping me with my education!. Fortunately life worked out better for me and I finished on time regardless of the school and the districts political BS!. Sad to have to put my daughter in this district, looking to move away from Fairfield because of the school district!!. How's that for negativity Mr. Superintendent!.

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  • Machele D.May 23, 2014 - 5:22 pm

    Dear Sad Community, I understand where you are coming from. I had quite the run around with my son entering High School. He was extremely School Resistant. I took every avenue I could to get my son the help he needed. I went to every school in the FSUSD. But I never stoped! I even went through every department. And then after months of hard work, I found a teacher...... That 1 teacher was at Armijo High School.... His name is Aaron Tolover! This awesome Man took my son under his wing and showed him the way to get through High School. My son graduated last year with his class. Not only did he graduate, But during his time in the classrooms of Mr. Tolover's Team players, my son not only learned more then what's in the Books, But this wonderful man brought the best out of my son's heart. Thank you Mr. Tolover, You guided my son and I through the education of Life. And I Owe You Big Time! ALL TEACHERS ARE EDUCATORS BUT NOT ALL EDUCATORS ARE TEACHERS Thank you for being the best teacher ever!

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  • BFantastikMay 23, 2014 - 6:10 pm

    Thank you for the kind words, Machele. It was all his hard work.

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  • Machele D.May 23, 2014 - 6:51 pm

    No My Dear B! It was all the hard work of the whole Cast and Crew! You are an Awesome TEAM! And again, even if the whole world is crumbling, As long as you don't give up, You will succeed ! And again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart

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  • Alex PutmanMay 23, 2014 - 5:58 pm

    As a previous teacher at Fairfield High School, I too can attest to their use of secrecy and immoral behavior. I was offered tenure at the school and then had that offer removed from the table when I refused to let our principal at the time (2010) illegally take nearly $200,000 from a recently discovered student athletics account. FHS has lost some fantastic teachers that have refused to tolerate the DISTRICT SUPPORTED tactics of intimidation and fear.

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  • Lily CohenMay 23, 2014 - 9:51 pm

    What a bunch of crap...all of it from all sides. Teachers and board members grow up. What kind of example are you setting for all the students...I mean really..stop it already.

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  • My Dear FriendsMay 24, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    As a Fairfield High School teacher I would like to point out that our FSUTA leader, Laurel Salerno was absent from the Thursday's board meeting. I am ashamed of Laurel's behavior and I am tired of our staff members allowing her to repeatedly destroy the careers of the administrators and teachers she hates. In the May edition of our FSUTA Newsbreaker Laurel stated that she "is adamant that we do everything we can professionally and with compassion before we ever put on the boxing gloves." Notice how she mentioned boxing gloves? How does Laurel respond to students who speak like this? She had students removed from her AVID classes for much less. Laurel also stated in the FSUTA newsletter "regarding recent publications, you can certainly understand that what the reporter put in the paper is an inadequate representation of our conversation." Laurel also added: "this District administration is certainly NOT the worst by far. In fact, it may be the best." Laurel finally remarks "consider the source of what you read. I always represent our members to the best of my ability with compassion and as much dignity as I can muster. I strive to always be professional in my actions and my statements." Read those remarks closely. Did you notice that Laurel said "this District administration may be the best?" She made those comments because they bullied Mr. Halloran while she was telling others she would "get him fired." With the help of "maybe the best district administration" she made that a reality. Laurel also wrote "I always represent our members to the best of my ability with compassion and as much dignity as I can muster. I strive to always be professional in my actions and my statements." Notice how Laurel Said she has to "muster" up dignity. Read Laurel's very own words like she challenged us to do in the "Newsbreaker." Clearly she has to force herself to muster up dignity because she's otherwise without it. A majority of our staff and FSUTA membership have witnessed this first hand for so many years. Laurel made the statement this "District may be the best" because they gave her what she wanted; Mr. Halloran out as as principal. This sounds familiar. Laurel told us she wanted our last two principals fired. Do we have to lose every good teacher and principal that she hates. Good educators are leaving FHS. The district office has certainly played a role in making a bad situation worse, but Laurel has worked endlessly behind the scenes and in front of our faces to disparage our leadership. Until all of us in FSUTA can openly address her lack of ethics our membership will continue to lose out in future contract negotiations and in our hopes of maintaining good leadership. We need to have an emergency meeting and demand her resignation. The last thing our membership needs is to have Laurel's name linked to more indecent and embarrassing behavior.

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  • Jennifer Myers FrenchMay 26, 2014 - 10:59 am

    To: My Dear Friends I too am a teacher at Fairfield High School. As your colleague you must know who I am. You know where to find me on campus. I would love to chat with you personally about what you find so horrible about Laurel Salerno-White. I think she's an amazing educator and exceptional human being. How quick we are to throw our colleagues and our leaders under the bus. Like many teachers at FHS, some were skeptical about Tim Halloran's leadership when he first arrived. I can tell you for a FACT however, that Laurel has great respect for Mr. Halloran and what he's done to turn Fairfield High around. Not least because he has been the first principal to fully support the AVID program at FHS since its inception... yeah that would be Laurel Salerno-White who brought it to our district and organized it from nothing. She was able to put aside differences with former Superintendent Sharon Tucker to accomplish it too! And "My Dear Friends" I'm not really sure what you mean by Laurel throwing AVID students out of the program for "much less". You don't say. You don't give an example or even a general anecdote. Having worked with Mrs. Salerno-White for years with our AVID students I know how she deals with struggling students. She supports them. She tutors them after school. She conferences with parents. She networks with school staff to help the child. She has regularly helped students who couldn't afford tutoring or testing fees out of her own pocket. If you're not familiar with AVID, there is a very selective recruitment process of data and transcript analysis as well as application and interview. Students must sign a contract each year. When they fail to meet the expectations of AVID, Laurel works hard to keep them in the program. Exiting a student is the course of last resort when a student has no desire to pursue the program goals or has fallen so far behind on meeting college requirements that they need to choose courses other than AVID in their schedule to catch up. If it weren't for Laurel Salerno White, Fairfield High would not have nearly so many success stories of students surviving college to earn a 4-year degree. THE FACT THAT LAUREL SALERNO WHITE IS OUR ELECTED UNION PRESIDENT DOESN'T MAKE HER LESS OF AN EDUCATOR. SHE UNDERSTANDS FULL WELL THE STRESSES ALL TEACHERS ARE UNDER. I HAVE NEVER KNOWN HER TO NOT SUPPORT TEACHERS, ESPECIALLY IN THE FACE OF ADMINISTRATIVE PRESSURE. IF SHE SEEMS "COLD" "CALCULATING" OR "DETACHED" TO YOU PERHAPS IT'S BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN A PROFESSIONAL WOMAN KEEPS HER COOL UNDER PRESSURE TO HELP RESOLVE A SITUATION POSITIVELY. LAUREL IS A POWERFUL WOMAN-- EVEN MORE SO BECAUSE SHE ACCOMPLISHES HER GOALS WITHOUT GETTING HER BITCH CLAWS OUT-- WHICH IS MORE THAN CAN BE SAID FOR YOU. Your frustration at current events in FSUSD is misplaced when you attack our elected union representation.

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  • :(May 27, 2014 - 5:38 pm

    Sad ... really sad. Everyone is entitled to their say. Some are very passionate about what is happening due to personal experience and personal knowledge. This district is "not the best" and people feel strongly about what our union president said and others strongly support her. Rebuttal is healthy BUT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET'S NOT ATTACK EACH OTHER LEST WE TAKE THE FOCUS OFF THE CHANGE THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN AT THE DISTRICT LEVEL. This is sincere so please do not attack me.

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