Board approves firing of teacher in emergency session held Aug. 6

The D9 School Board met in emergency session August 6, to deal with three issues. Two were fairly easy, the other more serious, a fired teacher requesting a public hearing.

D9 administration recommended to the Board that they approve the firing of teacher Cy Carrigan. Carrigan has been with the high school for a number of years and Superintendent Cynda Rickert felt it was time they part company. She spent the first 20 minutes of the meeting justifying the firing, citing inadequate performance and ineffectiveness in engaging students as the primary reasons for Carrigan’s release. Rickert said that the problem began a number of years ago and has persisted in the interim.

Carrigan finished his probationary period in 2007, and went under a program of assistance in 2009. The program of assistance is designed to help a teacher improve performance. Rickert said there was no permanent improvement and Carrigan was again placed under a plan of improvement in 2012. She said that he would continuously miss scheduled meetings and that administration observations within his classroom showed that students were not involved in studies. The administration believes that there is a situation with ongoing problems. Carrigan believes he’s a good teacher, but the administration disagrees.

In what appeared to be an unusual defense, Carrigan chose to engage the Board in a classroom lesson, which turned out to be not well received by members Scott Grissom, Ted Dole and Mary Anne Olsen. Jim Mannenbach and Mark Bateman were not in attendance at the meeting, but Bateman was available by conference call. Dole and Olsen were less than receptive when Carrigan asked them to participate in the classroom-like discussion, saying they could not see the relevance of the exercise.

Following an executive session, the Board voted to allow the dismissal of Mr. Carrigan on the grounds of ineffectiveness in the classroom and inadequate performance. Grissom, Dole and Olsen voted for the dismissal, by phone, Bateman voted against the motion.

In other business, Cynda Rickert reported that hillside Elementary has been classified as a “focus” school; meaning that the school is not up to the highest level it could be. Administrators and staff are eligible to attend work sessions aimed at finding ways of improving the school. This is one of 60 in the state with that classification.

Rickert did report that Shady Cove has received the highest rating of “Model.” This means that others will be modeling practices after that school. She said that only 27 of the 1304 schools in the state received that ranking.

The last order of business was to approve an “out of state” travel request for the volleyball team to play in Redding, Ca. That issue was approved 4-0.


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