To the editor,
I am a parent of a student in the Flemington- Raritan School District. As such, I am appalled by and extremely disappointed in the email signed by Anna Fallon and sent out to the district yesterday regarding the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Maryrose Caulfield.
On Tuesday, May 30, our Board of Education spoke several times of their intention to work with the community in moving forward. The email blasted to the district at 8:30 a.m. on May 31 was in direct contrast to that message. Caulfield's resignation is effective on Sept. 27. Why is the board allowing Caulfield, the lead person responsible for nearly running this district into the ground, to still have any authority whatsoever in our district?
School board PresidentAnna Fallon goes on to say, "Dr. Caulfield will work with the board to develop a transition plan that enables the interim superintendent to be an effective leader as quickly as possible." Why is Caulfield working to create a transition strategy for our district when this district is littered with the numerous failed strategies she implemented during her tenure? This is beyond inappropriate, it is inconceivable! I call on the board to place Dr. Caulfield on administrative leave effective immediately.
The board also spoke at length during the last meeting about its desire to hire an interim superintendent to run the district until a permanent replacement was found. Why are we spending money to hire an interim superintendent when we have an assistant superintendent who is highly qualified, extremely knowledgeable, and has 11 years experience in this district? Wouldn't that money would be better allocated to increasing the salaries of our grossly underpaid teachers and staff? In addition, multiple board members stated during the meeting on May 30 that the board's goal was to find an interim superintendent as quickly as possible so Caulfield could be released as soon as possible. Appointing Assistant Superintendent Dan Bland to this position is not only proper protocol, but also seems like a smart, simple way to achieve that goal.
It is imperative that we as a district begin the process of healing and moving forward. Our Board of Education needs to earn back the trust of this community as well as teachers, administrators and staff. Allowing Dr. Caulfield to remain in her position is not the way to do that. In fact, it moves them further from that goal.
Yesterday's email confirms what Anna Fallon's actions and behavior displayed at the board meeting on Tuesday evening - her duplicitous nature and her inability to do her duty to the board, this district, its stakeholders and most importantly, the students. The stakeholders' trust in her is irrevocably broken. She can no longer be a member of the Board of Education. She has had opportunity after opportunity to change her direction, to do what was required of her. She choses not to.
We have urgent matters that need to be addressed - such as nursing concerns, special education concerns and positions to fill. The board needs to act now.
I urge the board to do the job they were elected to do, by holding an emergency executive session immediately to act on the following:
1. Remove Anna Fallon from the Board.
2. Place Caulfield on administrative leave effective immediately.
3. Appoint Bland as interim superintendent.
4. Investigate the claims we have brought to their attention and work with the stakeholders to create a process through which this can never happen again.
By doing so, the healing process can begin for the faculty, students, and the Flemington-Raritan School District community. Additionally, by acting on these crucial issues, faith in the board will begin to be restored.
Rachael Ladd, Raritan Township
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