School Board Made Mistake In Dismissing Miles

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Editor:

The Payson school board and superintendent are wrong, wrong, wrong.

I am writing with my opinion on a few points regarding the recent school board meeting when Peggy Miles was told her contract would not be renewed.

The April 10 Regular Meeting Agenda was posted in accordance to Revised Statutes 38-431.02, Notice of Meetings.

Peggy Miles requested an open session, which she had every right to do. The issue I have is that the board failed to post notice of this open session.

I feel that the public was not notified because the "public" includes JRE students, teachers, parents and concerned citizens who stand 100 percent behind Peggy Miles. The turnout in support of Peggy Miles at the board meeting was standing room only. If the public had been notified properly, support for Peggy Miles would have been spilled into the parking lot.

The board does not normally take comments from the public on personnel matters. However, since Peggy Miles requested that this discussion be held in open session, the board let people speak for two minutes each. Why wouldn't the board want to hear more from the students, teachers, parents and concerned citizens? Perhaps because the board members' minds were already made up, before the meeting even convened.

Some of the accusations leveled by Superintendent Myers include the following:

1. Lack of knowledge in curriculum has lead to decisions that have not been in the best interest of some students and staff.

Fact: Not everyone will be happy about every decision that is made. "Some students and staff" do not account for the majority.

2. Failed to unite her staff.

In my opinion, any staff member who had an issue with Mrs. Miles, and instead of following the chain of command, went straight to Sue Myers with their complaints, is a coward. Superintendent Myers never should have allowed this to occur. In the business world, employees can be terminated for failure to follow the chain of command.

3. Important that each of our schools is staffed with the best trained, most dedicated professionals, educators who are able to make critical decisions about our children's learning and their safety.

Fact: Mrs. Miles implemented a Lock Down Procedure, by providing blinds to cover the windows and completely enclosed the campus. She also established new drop-off procedures for the kindergarten classes, creating a more efficient traffic flow.

Fact: With Miles as principal, JRE collected the highest tax credit among local area elementary schools -- over $30,000, the highest amount ever.

Fact: The students at JRE love Mrs. Miles.

I have found Mrs. Miles to be a very approachable principal and a strong leader focused on doing what is right for all of our children.

Teresa Chernov, Payson

Editor's note: This letter was cut to fit within the 400-word limit policy for Letters to the Editor.

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