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Ousted Baxter director allegedly posts parting words on school website

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Ousted Baxter director allegedly posts parting words on school website

PORTLAND – The school chief fired by Baxter Academy for Technology and Science's board of directors Thursday allegedly took control of the school's website and Facebook page and posted an online protest against the board's action.

John Jaques was executive director of the soon-to-be-opened charter school at 54 York St. until Thursday afternoon, when the board fired him for "a pattern of mismanagement," according to a press release.

Later in the day, someone had used the front page of the site to display a statement about what Jaques supposedly feels really happened.

“I am deeply disappointed by the actions of the board,” the statement read. “I believe the board of directors acted inappropriately and unethically.”

Although online Friday morning, the statement had been removed a few hours later. It responded to the board's claim that Jaques had mishandled the school's finances.

“It came to the board's attention that the finances proposed within Baxter Academy's budget were never put into place,” the board's press release said.

“Without the proper financing, the school did not meet one of the key requirements necessary to sign our charter contract and open our doors to students in the fall. ... The board has decided it is in the best interest of the academy to obtain new leadership, and is in the process of interviewing highly qualified candidates for the position of executive director.”

But the online statement said it was not mismanagement that led to Jaques' firing, but the request of a potential donor, who had promised the school $250,000.

“The board made a decision that it would rather support a large donor, who promised a lot of money if they would get rid of me,” the statement said. “It feels like the board sold me and the school's students out.”

The statement said it is unfortunate that the board felt Jaques was mismanaging the school.

“There was no mismanagement,” the statement read. “We've been working for two weeks to reach an amicable agreement, but I guess at the end of the day their loyalty was to the promise of money.”

Calls to both Jaques and Allison Crean Davis, the co-chair of the board of directors, were not immediately returned Friday morning.

Amber Cronin can be reached at acronin@theforecaster.net or 781-3661 ext. 125. Follow her on Twitter @croninamber.