A day after the Aberdeen Education Association passed a “no confidence” vote of Aberdeen School District Superintendent Dr. Alicia Henderson and asked for her resignation or termination, the Aberdeen School District Board of Directors issued a statement of support for the Superintendent.
In the statement released to KXRO from the district, the directors thanked the public for sharing concerns and said that they “assure you they are all heard and considered as we navigate this unfamiliar territory”. They add that working closely with Henderson they “believe she is acting proficiently and in good faith” and reaffirmed their confidence in her.
These conflicting statements follow months of uncertainty within the local district as hundreds of employees including teachers and support staff await news on the future of their jobs based on uncertainty of funding and enrollment within local schools.
The district states that “The political influence of educational funding is convoluted and has been extremely detrimental to our district”, adding that “The impact of the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic greatly exacerbated our previously forecasted budget challenges”.
They added a request that staff and administration work together moving forward as they move toward common goals and encourage staff members to reach out to the board and union leadership.
The letter states that while Dr. Henderson is not resigning or being terminated at this time, she had shared with the board last year that she will not be asking for an extension, but is willing to honor the remaining two years of her contract.
Aberdeen School Board Statement in Support of Superintendent Alicia Henderson
The Aberdeen School District Board of Directors would like to acknowledge the frustration of the community during these uncertain times. We thank you for sharing your concerns and assure you they are all heard and considered as we navigate this unfamiliar territory. As we work closely with Superintendent Henderson, we have witnessed her dedication to our district and believe she is acting proficiently and in good faith. For this, we would like to reaffirm our confidence in her this evening.
The political influence of educational funding is convoluted and has been extremely detrimental to our district. Superintendent Henderson worked tirelessly to convince the Legislature not to let this happen. The impact of the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic greatly exacerbated our previously forecasted budget challenges. With regard to the operation of schools during this pandemic, Superintendent Henderson continues to take guidance from OSPI as well as health organizations. We appreciate frequent communication updates from our Superintendent during a time when information changes quickly.
Please know that we value and encourage staff and community input. As we work toward common goals, it is essential that all parties demonstrate the same level of respect and courteousness. Staff members who have concerns about the direction of our district are encouraged to reach out to the board as well as their union leadership. Union leaders have the ability to bring staff issues to the district for discussion.
Later tonight, we will uphold our obligation to review the goals that were set for the year, and conduct the annual evaluation of the superintendent. Dr. Henderson shared with us last year that she will not be asking for an extension, but is willing to honor the remaining two years of her contract.
We encourage everyone to stay engaged by attending our meetings, reading district publications, and reaching out to individual board members. Remember that our children are watching us and looking to us for guidance. During this historical time, let’s show them how to respectfully engage in truthful conversations to enhance understanding and collaboratively solve problems.