Letters to the Editor, November 24-27, 2012
November 24, 2012
On behalf of the board at Recycle Utah, I want to thank our community members who, on LivePC Give PC, came to their computers and took out their plastic to help support the recycle center and our myriad of projects. An incredible 153 people chose to support us this year an increase in both numbers and dollars from last year. From the mouth of Insa, our beloved executive director, "What a wonderful community we live in!"
When you consider that more than 1,000 cars per day choose to recycle at our Community Recycling Center, we know that we impact many of you. Thank you for choosing to donate so generously to help us keep waste out of our landfill, educate our young people, supply you with awesome items from our Warehouse Store, and recycle more than 50 different products. Thank you for living PC and giving PC.
Recycle Utah board member
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Entire Weilenmann board must step down
I have been on the Weilenmann board almost continuously as vice chairman since January 2010. I have worked shoulder to shoulder with Chairman Dallis Rohde as she put in countless hours of effort and expertise helping found this school. Ms. Rohde has successfully overseen the completion of the building and a myriad of other tasks. Our finance committee helped close our building loan at 3.37% for 40 years. This secures our fiscal soundness far into the future. Our fundraising efforts have been robust and improving. Many selfless and talented people have served on our board and committees, contributing significantly to our success, and then moved on. We have built a school that we can all be extremely proud of.
In the past, Weilenmann needed an activist board simply to keep the doors open. Recently the chairman and some of the newer board members with little or no charter school board training embarked on a collision course with the administration that caused them to resign. I resigned also. The resulting furor has revealed a pattern of disharmony and miscommunication between elements of the board and the administration. The board needs to let the administration do its job and not interfere.
I believe that the damage done is so great that the entire board must step aside.
Mary Kimball and Cynthia Phillips are the heart and soul of the Weilenmann School. They have earned tremendous support from the parent body. The school is on sound fiscal footing and our children are thriving. any yardstick we are successful. We are well on our way to becoming an education powerhouse.
Three years ago we were a hole in the ground with a charter and a dream. Hundreds of people from this community worked together tirelessly to make this school a reality, but the real success has to be laid at the feet of Cynthia Phillips and Mary Kimball. They brought the core group of our teachers and staff with them from The Waterford School, arguably the best private school in Utah. People come to our school because of them.
People do not come to the Weilenmann School of Discovery for the board of trustees.
This controversy has been a cause of great heartache for my friends, colleagues, myself, and our children who have so much invested in this school. The surest way to a solution and to start the process of healing is to reinstate Mary Kimball and Cindy Phillips with an entirely new board of trustees recruited from the community.
Bullying policy must apply to leaders too
This is an open letter to the Weilenmann School of Discovery (WSD) community.
After the public meeting of 11/20/12, it is clear that our administrators, two of the most beloved teachers at our school, have been working under intolerable conditions. This letter is not a "witch hunt" or an attempt to place blame. This is a situation we must address. We have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying behavior at our school. This applies to students and must also apply to teachers, parents, and especially to the leaders on our board of directors.
The board of directors is responsible for setting the mission statement and vision of our school. We can not allow that mission statement to be "Bullying is allowed" or "We rule by intimidation."
Below I have cited an article that addresses the issue of bullying by school-board members. I think it is very appropriate and I hope you all read it: http://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=7386
I believe that we need to have quick resolution to this situation. If we as a community are going to survive and learn from this situation, we need to engage a mediator/counselor so that all feel their voices have been heard.
I would like to end this with a request. In light of the events that have taken place over the past week, I have looked closely at my own actions. I have seen behaviors that may have been intimidating. I recognized these behaviors and have reached out with an apology to those I may have hurt/intimidated. I hope that you all can do the same. For the sake of our children and our community.
Ruth Zimmer MD
Parent of two at WSD