Satterwhite, Trenum Disavows PWCS’s ‘Action Letter’ Sent to Reagan Community

| April 27, 2018 | 0 Comments | Education

Gainesville School Board member Alyson Satterwhite

UPDATED: April 28 at 9:45 a.m. to include a message from Brentsville school board member Gil Trenum 

Original Article: 

Alyson Satterwhite, Gainesville representative on the Prince William County School Board and a candidate for Chairman in the November Special Election, was not happy to see the letter that the senior leadership at Prince William County Schools sent to Ronald Reagan parents and teachers on April 27.

Calling it “unacceptable,” on her Friends of Alyson Satterwhite Facebook page, Satterwhite, said it is the kind of “miscommunication” that divides a community.

The letter refers to the ‘action letter’ sent by Associate Superintendent of Middle Schools William Bixby. It explains that an outside investigation into the leadership of the Reagan Middle School Principal has been completed. It said that a new principal will be appointed next year, and that the current principal will take a position with human resources.

However, there were points in the letter that community members felt were dismissive toward the faculty members who brought the complaints of a toxic work environment forward.

Satterwhite shared their concerns, and wanted to let the community know she did not sign off on the letter as it was written.

Satterwhite shared the letter she emailed to senior leadership in response.

Good afternoon,

Sometimes I wish I could see letters like this before they are distributed to my community.

This paragraph just about guarantees the angst at RRMS and the community will continue for a while:

“At the same time, the interviews reveal another factor contributing to the upset at RRMS to be the strain placed on the principal, assistant principals, and other teaching staff by a relatively small group of discontented faculty members who resisted changes in management and accountability measures, and enlisted parents and social media in a public campaign to undermine the administration. None of these teachers had initiated a formal complaint against the principal under the procedures used by the Division to investigate and resolve employee performance issues.”

Basically it looks like the entire climate and any problems at RRMS are being placed in the laps of “a relatively small group of discontented faculty members. “I’m sorry but as Mr. Trenum (Brentsville representative) put in his email, this does not match the tone of our discussion last Wednesday.

I know resolving the issues surrounding RRMS are complex, but the solutions and wording have to be delicate or we will continue to be in this firestorm of a long time to come.

Unfortunately, because of some bad wording, I will also have to distance myself from this letter.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Alyson Satterwhite

Gil Trenum, Brentsville representative to the Prince William County School Board.

Update: 

Friday night, Brentsville school board member Gil Trenum, posted the email response that he sent to the school division earlier that day on his Facebook page.

I don’t know who wrote this, but in my opinion it is going to blow up in our face.

Reading through the verbiage…the letter clearly blames a small group of teachers and parents for the entire situation at Reagan and completely glosses over the management issues that were discussed. In my opinion it is NOT consistent with the discussion we had during closed session.

Once again, I do not think that the community is going to take this well at all. I cannot support this letter and will distance myself from it while maintaining my own independence. I will work with Mary (McGowan, the division’s counsel) to craft language that I can support for my own personal responses.

Gil

The email was sent to Phil Kavits (Assoc. Superintendent of Communications, Technology), Keith Imon (Deputy Superintendent), Mary McGowan (Division Dounsel.) and William Bixby (Assoc. Superintendent of Middle Schools). It was copied to new Interim Chairman, Babur Lateef, and Gainesville school board member Alyson Satterwhite.

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