ACSU official to resign from post

MIDDLEBURY — Longtime Addison Central Supervisory Union Associate Superintendent Janice Willey will step down from her post next June, citing concerns about what she said was a recent shift in her job description made without her input.
Willey has been an ACSU administrator for 17 years, 14 of them as associate superintendent. It’s a job that has seen her oversee curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development in all district schools. The ACSU includes Middlebury Union Middle School, Middlebury Union High School and the elementary schools in Bridport, Cornwall, Salisbury, Weybridge, Shoreham, Ripton and Middlebury.
But Willey, in a public statement requested by the Addison Independent, said she was informed by ACSU Superintendent Lee Sease that she will need to devote 100 percent of her time working with MUHS and MUMS officials on a series of education improvement requests petitioned by a citizens’ group in early October.
Willey said her duties had been changed “without prior notice and without discussion with me.”
Willey explained she has preferred to work on a district-wide basis.
“(The assigned task at UD-3) is certainly important work, but it is an assignment that will mean I can no longer work with the seven elementary schools in ACSU, and that I can no longer attend school board meetings,” Willey said in her statement. “My new assignment will preclude me from continuing the excellent work currently under way, and from access to the majority of schools in our educational system, and from continuing the work I have come to value deeply.
“I understand that the superintendent has the discretion to make this decision,” she added. “However, under the circumstances, I believe it would be best if I left the employment of the ACSU as soon as is reasonably possible, after allowing for an appropriate period for transition to a qualified replacement.”
Willey officially tendered her resignation on Dec. 14, but has agreed to serve through the balance of this school year.
“In the meantime, I will continue to do my utmost to serve the mission and its people to the best of my ability,” Willey said.
Sease said that while he could not comment on specific aspects of Willey’s decision, he lauded her contributions to the ACSU.
“Jan has had a long and distinguished career at Addison Central Supervisory Union,” Sease said. “Her positive influence on the education opportunities of the students of ACSU will be felt for years to come. She leaves in place a mission statement, performance targets, power standards and a standards-based reporting system, to name just a few of her accomplishments. Of most noteworthy, as of late, are the professional development opportunities provided to our teaching staff, particularly at the elementary level. There will be many in our school system who will miss Ms. Willey. During her years of service she has developed strong relationships which I am sure will be in place for a long, long time.”
UD-3 board Chairman Tom Beyer has known and worked with Willey since he was on the ID-4 school board more than a decade ago. He said he has appreciated her work and is disappointed she has decided to leave the ACSU.
“I find it unfortunate she doesn’t see (MUMS and MUHS) as a place she can make just as big a contribution as she has been making at the elementary schools,” Beyer said.

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