October 25, 2013

Dispute grows in SAD 6 superintendent case

Frank Sherburne has been cleared of any impropriety, which the school board points out in an online letter that criticizes the teachers union.

By Leslie Bridgers lbridgers@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Photo from MSAD 6 website Frank Sherburne, superintendent of MSAD 6 recently released an email to parents with details of his working schedule to combat rumors that he had been put on administrative leave.

Related Documents

Letter to MSAD 6 citizens
Letter to school board members

He said that 15 to 20 union members either emailed him or came to his classroom Thursday, upset about the statement regarding their resistance to change. “We’re not resisting change whatsoever,” Curtis said.

When Dufresne was asked Thursday what change her letter referred to, she said, “I can’t tell you. I don’t have the letter in front of me.”

Pressed about what changes are occurring in the district, she pointed to the relatively new superintendent, the transition to standards-based assessments and the adoption of the Common Core curriculum.

The union on Thursday defended its reasoning for going to the board with the complaints about Sherburne. It said the letter in May “was based upon concerns brought to the union by members of the teaching staff after they tried repeatedly to resolve their concerns directly with Superintendent Sherburne.”

The union said its action was prompted by its understanding of the board’s policy, which says “staff members are expected to be sensitive to the appearance of impropriety in their conduct with students” and are required to report “a situation that may constitute a violation of this policy.”

The district has denied the Press Herald’s request for the report from the investigation under the Freedom of Access Act, saying it includes confidential employee information.

The Press Herald also has requested the associated legal bills, which the district has yet to provide. Dufresne said Thursday that she did not know how much the investigation cost.

“Although we all should find this situation troubling based on the articles and the letter from the (union), there is a great deal of inaccurate or missing information that cannot be shared with the public,” said the letter from Dufresne.

The letter also took the newspaper to task, saying, “It is unfortunate that with the many positive things that are occurring in the district, the media has chosen to focus in (sic) such negative and false issues.”

Sherburne first made it public that rumors about him were circulating when he sent a letter to parents on Sept. 26. It said he would post his daily appointments schedule on the district’s website to end speculation that he was on administrative leave, a rumor that had come up three times since August on days he was out of the district.

Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: lbridgers@pressherald.comTwitter: @lesliebridgers
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