UPDATE: ANeSU appoints interim superintendent

BRISTOL — Monday night, the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union school board appointed Assistant Superintendent Catrina DiNapoli as Acting Superintendent, with responsibilities effective today, Tuesday, Sept. 29.
The ANeSU board also passed a motion to begin a search for a new superintendent.
The board took no formal action regarding Superintendent David Adams. ANeSU board chair Dawn Griswold said in an email on Tuesday afternoon that:
“David Adams has been and continues to be on FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave.  These actions will allow the supervisory union and its member districts to move forward with the challenging work they face.”
ANeSU board vice chair Brad Bull said earlier in the day in an email response to questions from the Independent that in order to have a succinct and consistent message from the school board, he also wished to have communication with the media go through Griswold.
“I can clarify that David Adams has not resigned, and is still an employee of the ANESU,” Bull wrote.
An attempt to reach Adams himself was unsuccessful.
A federal mediator last month recommended that Superintendent Adams and the teachers in the Bristol-area schools take part in training to warm up the cool relationship between the parties.
The ANeSU Executive Committee called in the mediator after a series of events last spring demonstrated deep rifts in teacher and parent confidence in Adams and deep rifts community-wide over budget and communication issues.
In March, Addison Northeast Education Association teachers union (ANEDA) presented the ANeSU board and Adams with the results of a survey about the workplace climate within ANeSU schools and the results of an ANEDA-wide no confidence vote.
At an ANeSU meeting on March 24, a Starksboro resident submitted a petition with more than 500 signatures to the ANeSU board, which asked the board to fire Adams.
In response, Adams supporters started a social media campaign called Friends of David Adams and the ANeSU.
Additionally, last spring voters in the five town area rejected initial spending proposals for Mount Abraham Union High School, Bristol Elementary School and Robinson Elementary in Starksboro, which some attributed to budget issues only, others to confidence in leadership and still others to a combination of both.
Educator and support staff contract negotiations, which began in February, are still under way. Contracts expired this past June.
Editor’s note: This story was updated after its original posting to add Dawn Griswold’s comment on David Adams’ status with the school district.
Reporter Gaen Murphree is at [email protected].

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