LIVERMORE FALLS — By a tally of 155-4, staff members from the four schools in Regional School Unit 73 have voted no confidence in Superintendent Todd LeRoy.

The RSU 73 Education Association conducted the vote Tuesday night. The district includes Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls.

Some staff members said they were concerned with LeRoy’s recent actions and with the resulting atmosphere at all of the district’s schools, according to information provided by the association.

Those concerns include:

• LeRoy’s alleged failure to communicate effectively.

• LeRoy’s “constantly changing” stories about what occurred with building restructuring and administrative changes.

• LeRoy’s alleged behavior or actions that have created an atmosphere of distrust and anxiety at the schools and within the communities.

• Disruption to the educational process in the middle of the school year.

“The RSU 73 Education Association feels we need strong leadership to insure a constructive and safe learning environment, and the staff has made it clear they feel that Superintendent LeRoy was not providing this,” according to a statement issued by the association.

Spruce Mountain High School Principal TJ Plourde was relieved of his duties Dec. 21.

On Dec. 24 LeRoy sent the Sun Journal an email indicating the move was part of a plan to transform the high and middle schools into one secondary school.

LeRoy said Kevin Harrington, principal of the primary school, would take over at the new school, while middle school Principal Scott Albert would go to the primary school.

School board Chairwoman Denise Rodzen, Vice Chairman Michael Morrell and LeRoy met with legal counsel Jan. 2 behind closed doors.

On Jan. 3, Harrington announced the leadership changes had been rescinded and Plourde would resume his duties Jan. 7.

On Jan. 5, the school board, LeRoy and legal counsel met behind closed doors for 3 1/2 hours. After that meeting, Rodzen said employees and residents planning to attend the regularly scheduled board meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 10) at the middle school cafeteria should read the district’s policy for public comment at board meetings.

On Tuesday afternoon, RSU 73 Education Association member Rob Taylor said there were conflicts within the policy.

The second paragraph in the policy states the board will provide opportunities for residents to express opinions and concerns related to matters under consideration by the board.

The third paragraph states members of the public may speak on any subject directly related to the operations of the schools, except for personnel matters or complaints concerning specific employees or students.

Taylor said he thought public input would be permitted

Association member Julie Taylor said those who speak may not use names or “specifics” when making comments.

“The concern comes with having some degree of rational behavior,” Julie Taylor said.

“Rodzen has to make sure there is no slander. No one can defame others. Rodzen may gavel anyone at any time.”

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Community members in RSU 73 say they plan to present a petition at Thursday’s school board meeting — scheduled for 6 p.m. at the middle school cafeteria — requesting the removal of Superintendent Todd LeRoy and any board member and administrator who had knowledge of LeRoy’s school transformation plans.

The petition reads in part:

Mr. Leroy’s impulsive actions on December 21, 2018 were harmful to students, staff, and this community. By ending an administrator’s employment, and announcing a huge shift, as well as combining two schools (please see Mr. Leroy’s own emails to confirm), he left everyone, including his own board members, confused, upset, and without recourse for several weeks.  

Mr. Leroy then tried to accuse others of misunderstanding and misquoting him, instead of accepting responsibility and providing an adequate explanation and plan. 

Due to Mr. Leroy’s manner of executing sweeping changes with no long-term plan or proof of the wanted outcome, and due to the way he responded to the community’s concerns, he has lost the trust of this community. He is no longer an effective administrator, and his contract should be immediately terminated as such.  

We further request the resignation and/or termination of any board members and administrators that were aware of or part of this plan without letting others know. This gave the impression, real or imagined, of a conspiracy to implement plans regardless of how it would impact the schools and community.  

We would like to make it clear that we are not necessarily saying that we are against any plan to adjust, consolidate, or change the schools in the future, but that any of these things need to be done in a planful manner. There needs to be consultation, discussion, reasons to implement changes, and a planned outcome. Communication needs to happen prior to changes being thrust on the community, and no decisions should be made unilaterally. If this requires changes in the policy of the district, these must be addressed.  

We ask that moving forward, the board carefully consider replacements for his and any other positions that will need to be filled. Each member should do their own research, talk to constituents, and take concerns seriously. We ask for more transparency within the board and from the board to the community.

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