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Public, Teachers’ Complaints Carry Weight With Board

As Jamestown Public Schools officials go through the process of hiring a new Jamestown High School principal, applicants for the job should take note of a bit of subtext that may have been lost in the sudden resignation of Dr. Rosemary Bradley in December.

A vote of no confidence by Jamestown High School teachers and staff came after months of discord between Bradley and the staff. Some districts would have dug in their heels in the face of public and union opposition. Jamestown took an opposite approach. Such a resignation, after only three months on the job, could only have come after frank discussions between the Board of Education, Superintendent Bret Apthorpe and Bradley about the administration’s expectations of the job.

If there is a lesson to be learned, it is that the district will move quickly if it needs to. Jamestown High School’s principal is one of the most visible positions in the school district, perhaps even more visible than the district superintendent. District administrators have made clear, with the way they handled Bradley from September through December last year, that valid complaints from the public and teachers carry weight with the school board.

Applicants for the job would do well to keep in mind what happened to Bradley. Teachers and staff in school buildings and parents of schoolchildren are important voices who need to be listened to. The school board listened to them. Principals would be wise to do so as well.

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