Mt. Abe vice chair resigns from school board
BRISTOL — Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School board Vice Chair Shawna Sherwin announced her resignation from the MAUHS board, with a letter to Addison Northeast Supervisory Union Board Chair Dawn Griswold, dated Oct. 20.
Sherwin’s is the third school board resignation for ANeSU this fall and the fourth since summer, and came the same day as the ANeSU Executive Committee OK’d a separation agreement with embattled Superintendent David Adams.
Sheryl Thurber resigned in early September from the Bristol Elementary School board. Her replacement, Terri Thomsen, was appointed in September and resigned in October. Robert Donnis resigned in July and was replaced by Allison Sturtevant in August.
In her letter, Sherwin said that she felt that her work on the board could no longer be done “in line with my own moral compass.” Sherwin said that she had been “sickened and saddened” when board members “allowed our superintendent to be publicly demoralized” when the teachers’ union read the results of its climate survey at the “infamous supervisory union meeting last March.” Sherwin characterized the survey as “one sided.”
On March 23, the Addison Northeast teachers’ union voted no confidence in Adams’s leadership, 163 to 1. Leaders of the union then presented the ANeSU board and Adams with the results of a workplace climate survey. Seventy percent of the district’s employees took the confidential survey, which asked respondents to assess Adams using Vermont Agency of Education criteria for licensed administrators. An overwhelming majority of respondents to the anonymous survey reported significant concerns about Adams in terms of leadership and communication, effective collaboration and professionalism, and creating a safe and effective learning environment.
The ANeSU teachers’ contract expired this summer, and a new master contract is under negotiation.
The upcoming trainings with federal mediators, scheduled for November, are an outgrowth of the union’s actions and the board’s desire to create a better climate for education within the ANeSU.