I tried to negotiate a contract with the Meeker School District which would alleviate disagreements between myself and the high school principal and which would also help the district overcome its “fiscal emergency,” but after six weeks of talks, Superintendent Matt Meyer finally rejected my proposal.
As your readers are aware, I have contested the qualifications of district leadership and the heavy-handed policies and procedures they have imposed on teaching staff. Ms. Ibach and Mr. Meyer, backed by a 4/3 majority on the Meeker School Board, have stifled open debate of issues important to education and have, I believe, punished staff who speak out. Conditions imposed by administration at the high school last year seemed hostile, and the working environment was miserable.
I would very much like to continue teaching. I offered to trade three-fourths of my salary in exchange for freedom to teach. Apparently the fiscal crisis is not so severe or the administration thinks my presence on the teaching staff is so threatening that they deemed my offer was not sufficient.
In the meantime, during the course of negotiations, the district hired a new instructor who has been assigned two of my core science classes.
I apologize to the many students and parents who have encouraged me to persevere. I have made every effort to stay, under conditions that would allow me to maintain my integrity and my health. I have been blessed to work with dedicated and exceptionally talented colleagues, several others of whom have been treated very badly, I believe, by this administration. If trusted with their own governance, the professional staff in the Meeker School District could provide the best of education. My deep respect to those who are able to carry on under the present conditions.
Among other endeavors over the years — and certainly not alone, but with the help of colleagues — I added 13 courses to the high school curriculum in science, math and computer science. I added more than $50,000 of grants and equipment to Meeker science facilities and activities. I started the Science Fair program, which has qualified five Meeker students for International Science Fair competition and through which several other students have won state and regional honors.
I instituted the Summer Science Program for high school and middle school students, and I organized hands-on science projects for elementary school students led by high school tutors. With the generous support of a student’s Boettcher grant and additional funds of my own, I procured a 3-D printer for the district to provide students with hands-on experience using cutting-edge technology.
Over the years, I have guided students in long-term field ecology research on native ecosystems north of the high school and I head the radiation lab project at Meeker High