Sussex Tech School District to Elect a New President
Posted: Jul 10, 2018 2:20 AM
By Mallory Metzner
(GEORGETOWN, Del.) - 71% of the staff at Sussex Technical High School is asking for the removal of Governor-appointed board members who oversaw a mis-management of funds that dates back six years ago.
English teacher D.J. Forcucci says, "They need to be responsible for guiding the district, providing oversight to the district administration, and providing financial responsible decisions and they failed on all of those accounts so we're asking them to resign."
Teachers are calling out board members on their silence for overseeing district administrators who paid twice the amount for a piece of land from a former employee without any price negotiations. They believe that transparency between the board and the staff is crucial and that the board in charge during the time of this dispute needs to step down.
Nearly 4 million dollars was funneled to Common Sense Solutions and multiple projects within the district were piggy-backed off of this partnernship.
Social Studies teacher Deborah Long acknowledges that the teachers aren't looking to instigate conflict. "We're in the business of doing what's in the best interest for kids so coming out to support us will do just that. The board has one simple step they can do and it's to step down."
Teacher of the Year, Jinni Forcucci explains that they want a school that represents the county in an appropriate and accurate way. "In order to do that we have to foster relationships with our feeder schools and with this current board and the level of distrust that those schools have for them and have for us because of them, its not going to help our school."
Jean Johnson is both a teacher and parent in this district. "Unfortunately people are left to make speculation and assumptions and all of that leads to terrible things so I'm a mother and a teacher here. Both of my children have attended this school and they didn't even know what was going on."
The goal of tonight's board meeting was for as many supporters to come out as possible so that the board's removal and/or resignation would be encouraged. Only Governor Carney can remove the 5 board members that he appointed.
Sussex Tech alumni and former employee, Joy Stephenson says, "The board really needs to listen to the educators here. They're the ones in the trenches. They're in here everyday and I think they have a really good understanding of the day-to-day in the school. Not saying that the board members are all completely removed from the situation but outside of board meetings, I don't recognize any of them."
Since last month's board meeting, president Patrick Cooper has resigned for family reasons but there are stil four more members that teachers feel need to step down. Some teachers thanked George Torbert and Warren Reid for hearing their concerns and even voting in their favor several times but they also noted the numerous absences of Judy Emory and Teresa Carey. It was also noted that both Emory and Carey only voted 'No' twice on motions made by the board during this financial dispute.
At tonight's meeting Warren Reid was nominated to take the place of school board president. 4 votes were needed for the motion to be approved but it failed with only 3. The election will take place at next month's meeting in August.
Some change is in store for Sussex Tech. Stephen Gunthrie stepped in as the new Superintendent and he has multiple advisory committees planned to create more of a transparency between teachers and the school board.