Dear school board, if Vitti treats you so poorly how do you think he treats teachers?

At the school board meeting while talking to the superintendent School Board Chair Ashley Smith-Juarez was do distressed by his snickering and lack of eye contact she publicly addressed it and this on the heels of her saying the board may hire a mediator to address “communication” issues.

Last fall three members of the board wrote the superintendent a letter addressing the superintendent’s disrespectful communication to them.

Lindsey Kilbride of WJCT on the radio program First Coast Connect this past Friday said members of the board lamented that their directives often went ignored and they would often find out about what was happening in the district from the media and not the superintendent.

The superintendent has also at least on two occasions threatened legal action against the board if he didn’t get his way.

Should I go on?

Well school board if he is going to be dismissive of you, his bosses, if he is going to ignore and marginalize you, then how do you think he is treating teachers. The answer is poorly and it is time for you to wake up.

The superintendent is often dismissive of teachers in the media and dismissive when they voice concerns and all you need to do is look at First Coast high school where those teachers that weren’t run off begged for help and instead of addressing their concerns he called their tormentor one of the best principals in the city.

I also know teachers have come to him about the Engage NY curriculum and the pacing guide only to be ignored as well.

I used to think the superintendent just didn’t respect teachers but we now know the list is long.  

4 Replies to “Dear school board, if Vitti treats you so poorly how do you think he treats teachers?”

  1. One of the things we did at the IIT meeting was to read an article titled, "Is Yours a Learning Organization?" (Garvin, Edmondson, and Gino, Harvard Business Review, March 2008)

    The article discussed how to build that. I will quote from the first part: "Building Block 1: A Supportive learning environment … [characteristic 1] Psychological Safety. To learn, employees cannot fear being belittled or marginalized when they disagree with peers or authority figures, ask naive questions, own up to mistakes, or present a minority viewpoint. Instead, they must be comfortable expressing their thoughts about the work at hand."

    After reading the article, we were directed to write down three take-aways we got from it. My first thought was that if the District was serious about this, it will take a huge culture shift among district staff, leaders, and school-based teachers.

  2. Some quotes from a Times-Union article: "…he didn't communicate his vision effectively and ignored those who disagreed with him."; "…he accepts some blame for not better managing his relationship with the school board, but generally believes he delivered on those earlier promises."; "…teachers were given new guides to direct what they taught and when." He stated "no one…on the board knew how uncomfortable meaningful change can be." Think this is about Dr. Vitti? Well, you'd be incorrect. This is from a story about former superintendent Joey Wise. Sounds familiar though, doesn't it? These men were both hired by Boards who thought they would be strong, innovative leaders, but both superintendents turned out to be more like arrogant bullies. But the board still wasn't bothered much as long as only teachers were being bullied. Now that the Board members are being disrespected, things have changed a bit, haven't they!

  3. But when is enough enough! How many of teachers would have been reprimanded/suspended for behavior like that towards an administrator? Yet he is allowed to do it with no repercussions. It is going to take "Courage" to do what is right for students and get this "Jackass" out of town.

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