LA CONNER — Five weeks after members of two La Conner School District unions issued votes of no-confidence against Superintendent Whitney Meissner, the school board has said it will work to resolve the issues the unions have with Meissner.
“The board and Dr. Meissner have taken to heart the concerns raised,” the board said in a news release sent to the Skagit Valley Herald by La Conner Education Association co-President Suzann Keith. “Over the coming weeks, we will be working together on an action plan to improve communication and culture, and to clarify the district’s decision-making and problem-solving processes.”
Citing negative management practices, poor communication and ineffective leadership, members of the La Conner Education Association and the Public School Employees issued no-confidence votes June 7 against Meissner.
The board’s response is a positive step, but not enough, union representatives said in a statement.
“While these are positive steps, they do nothing to address some of the most serious charges that have been brought against the Superintendent, namely her harassment, intimidation, and bullying of the staff and her weak and damaging interpersonal skills,” the statement said.
In the weeks since the no-confidence votes, the unions have called for Meissner’s dismissal and have requested meetings with the school board — a request that was granted in part Tuesday, Keith said.
Board members Brad Smith and Susie Deyo will meet with union representatives, likely this week, she said.
Because two members does not constitute a quorum of the five-person board, that is a meeting that is likely to happen behind closed doors.
“This wholly inadequate response, along with an invitation for the leadership of the unions to meet with only two of the five board members for a follow-up meeting later this week, indicates to us that the Board is not giving this matter the complete and serious attention it deserves,” the statement by the unions said. “We strongly urge the Board to remedy this imbalance at our follow-up meeting, show that they take the grievances of those who educate and serve our children seriously, and demonstrate that the Board is a trustworthy leader of the La Conner Schools.”
The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is Monday.