FEATURE COVERAGE

Sun
20
Apr

RIDGWAY SCHOOLS Hobbs presents alternative academic indicators

By Bill Tiedje
bill@ouraynews.com

During the April 15 Ridgway School Board work session, Secondary School Principal Jim Bob Hobbs contended that the high school's academic achievement and growth met or exceeded state requirements and offered a seven page document in response to parents' and board members' statements at the board's previous meeting.
The board also heard a formal statement by board member Bart Skalla, clarifying his use of "insurgency tactics" on the board. Skalla read aloud a statement regarding the previous board meeting and fellow board members' comments.
"I was the one who first came up with the idea I would resign," stated Skalla, referencing a resignation pact to exchange his departure for that of Superintendent Cheryl Gomez as well as the extension of Hobbs’ contract.

Sun
20
Apr
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RIDGWAY SCHOOLS Board members clash as resignations are accepted

By Bill Tiedje
bill@ouraynews.com

Details of a brokered deal among Ridgway School Board members, involving the resignation of board member Bart Skalla in exchange for the resignation of Superintendent Cheryl Gomez and extension of secondary Principal Jim Bob Hobbs' contract, emerged during a special meeting of the board held on April 8.
Formal resignation agreements with Gomez and secondary guidance counselor Rick Williams were accepted by the board Tuesday night, as well as an agreement to hire Steve Smith as interim superintendent.
In a formal statement, board member Greg Lawler said four board members had made written statements asking for Skalla's resignation. The statement also listed Lawler's conclusions about the climate of the board and its workings.
Responding to questioning from community member Darin Hill, Skalla said although he had offered his resignation at one point, he would no longer agree to resign, as the terms of the deal were changed.
"The terms were I would stay on until we have things worked out with administration," said Skalla. "We would have a new superintendent in place. We would have things worked out with all personnel."
"The terms were, we would keep Jim Bob, and you would go," countered board chair Roger Sagal.
Earlier in the meeting, Sagal asserted that he had offered his own resignation in a moment of frustration during the March 19 meeting but had since withdrawn it in order to not abandon the board at a time when leadership is necessary.
"(Skalla's) articulated plan is to undermine the administration and the board," said Lawler.

Sun
20
Apr
atodd's picture

RIDGWAY SCHOOLS Citizen questions board's adherence to open meetings law

By Bill Tiedje
bill@ouraynews.com

Calling for greater openness in the decision-making process, Ridgway citizen Brian Donivan cited misconduct by the Ridgway School Board in use of executive sessions, hiring protocol and open meetings law violations during the public input portion of the board's regular meeting on Mar. 27.
In a formal letter to the board, Donivan listed five specific items that he requested the school board address immediately.
Referencing the Colorado Sunshine Law, specifically CRS section 24-6-402, Donivan questioned why the board, when entering executive session, did not "identify the matter to be discussed therein in as much detail as possible," as the statute mandated.

 

"I believe that the lack of details provided to the public is a key source for the mistrust that you are currently receiving from the community," Donivan said.

No members of the school board responded to any of Donivan's grievances, apart from Greg Lawler, who asked that Donivan retract a statement that questioned whether the board's handling of Principal Jim Bob Hobbs' contract had the kids in mind.
Donivan agreed to retract the statement and continued.

Wed
19
Mar
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RIDGWAY SCHOOL The wait continues

Photo by Beecher Threatt • beecher@ouraynews.com

Parents, students and teachers wait while Ridgway School Board discusses contract renewal for secondary principal Jim Bob Hobbs. After two hours of public comment the board is going on its third hour of executive session. About 50 people remained at 10:30 p.m.

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