Dismissal of educators rankles pupils, parents

The dismissal of two teachers and a principal in Plateau Valley School District 50 led students and parents to launch a tense dialogue with school board members Wednesday.

At the heart of the debate was the elimination of John Vail as Grand Mesa High School principal. Several students said Vail provided the encouragement they needed to get through school at Grand Mesa and at Plateau Valley High, where he served as principal from fall 2006 to spring 2008.

“He’s the best principal I’ve ever seen and I want to know why he isn’t being asked back next year,” said PVHS student Cody Koon.

“It seems like there were three people that were blind-sided. The community was blind sided,” said mother Stacy Hill.

School board members said they could not comment on the dismissal of Vail or Plateau Valley teachers Allison Krug and Susan Collins because it was a “personnel issue,” and therefore not public record. All three were not eligible for tenure. School board member

Gary Winkleblack said firing a tenured teacher could cost “thousands.” He also commented on audience insinuations that the board had been influenced by Superintendent Greg Randall to let the three employees go.

“We are not let around by the nose by the superintendent or anyone else,” he said.

Vail, who attended the meeting, said he was flattered by the support.

“I probably look at that as a better evaluation of my work than anything else,” he said.


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