Mediator to help heal ACSU office discord

MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) board on Wednesday agreed to hire a mediator to help resolve some perceived problems with the working environment in the school district’s central office.
That action — taken following a lengthy executive session — comes after a consultant performed a “climate study” within the ACSU office, an undertaking the district board commissioned in February in response to reports of discord between some of the district’s employees.
The study was sparked in part after Assistant Superintendent Janice Willey submitted a letter of resignation prompted by the reassignment of her duties by Superintendent Lee Sease. Rather than accept Willey’s resignation, the board ordered the study.
The board has not accepted that resignation, and Willey and Sease are under contract through June 2011.
ACSU officials said the climate study remains a private document because it involves supervisory union personnel matters. The board on Wednesday agreed to ask the author, retired superintendent Alice Angney, to develop a summary of the report that will be given to those who were interviewed. That summary report will not breach the confidentiality of the people who were interviewed, according to ACSU board Chairwoman Carol Ford.
In other action after the executive session, the ACSU board elected to “engage a consultant to work on some structural issues that came out as a result of the climate report,” according to Ford. In essence, the consultant will be asked, among other things, to look at the ACSU office organizational chart and provide some clarification of the roles and responsibilities of district staff and administration, officials said.
The ACSU board elected to defer, until next month, discussion on the next steps in dealing with a “school governance” report that presented several possible scenarios on merging various schools and boards within the district.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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