Caledonia Cooperative EA Votes No Confidence in Superintendent
Caledonia Cooperative Educators Vote ‘No Confidence’ in District Superintendent
Union will urge the district’s board to not renew contract of Superintendent Mathew Forest
DANVILLE – The members of the Caledonia Cooperative Education Association today voted no confidence in their superintendent after years of Mathew Forest’s mismanagement of Caledonia Cooperative Supervisory Union schools.
“It gives me no sense of pleasure that we are here tonight. But after years of trying to work with our boards and administrators to address the culture of fear, intimidation, and mismanagement by our superintendent, we have just taken a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Mathew Forest,” said Bill Douglas, a special education paraeducator at Peacham School who serves as the union’s spokesman. “In light of our lack of confidence in Mathew Forest, we will urge the CCSU board to not renew his contract. Our students deserve schools where everyone – from students to teachers to paraeducators to principals to parents – can teach, learn, and interact with respect, free from fear and intimidation. Our students deserve better than this. They deserve more from their superintendent.”
The vote comes after years of widespread dissatisfaction with Forest’s job performance. Two years ago, the union conducted a survey that found a majority of educators disapproved of Forest. The union took its concerns, quietly, to the board and administrators. Yet instead of working to improve, Forest continued to foster a culture of mismanagement, distrust, intimidation and fear, according to the union.
Last month, educators released the results of another survey that found fewer than 20 percent of educators approved of Forest’s performance. The release of that information prompted the Burlington attorney representing Forest and the district to threaten the jobs of union members who released the survey. The union subsequently filed an unfair labor practice charge against the district, alleging multiple violations of Vermont labor law.
“We think it is past time to have new leadership in this district,” Douglas said. “And that’s why today we are calling on the boards of this district to do the right thing and part ways with Mathew Forest so that we can rebuild the trust and improve our schools for the communities’ children.”
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