Letter: SAD 51 board fails to put students first

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I was dismayed to see that last week’s story on the School Administrative District 51 School Board meeting did little to clarify facts and much to perpetuate the ongoing divisiveness that has been the hallmark of this board.

I do not need to reiterate the details of the security system that have been discussed at no fewer than three board meetings. What has been missing from these discussions is the acknowledgement that our superintendent, Robert Hasson, has an exceptional record of improving student achievement in our district and an outstanding reputation as an educational leader in our state. He has earned our trust, and when he admits that he made an error in keeping the board informed about changing recommendations, it is time to accept the apology, pay the bill and focus on the school’s mission rather than personal agendas.

Last September, I joined a large contingent of citizens who expressed deep concern over the lack of respect and civility on the board. Clearly, the issues have not been resolved, the political gaming continues, and back-room deals have become the norm. I will reiterate my statement from the fall:

We expect board members to put the students first and to focus on the established priorities in collaboration with the superintendent. Respecting the resources of the community is commendable; putting cost containment above the interests of the students is reprehensible.

Tara M. Hill