A teacher resigned from the Keiller Leadership Academy board last night in another sign of tensions at the noted charter school, one of the few middle schools in the state to shed a punitive federal label under No Child Left Behind.
Keiller has been racked with uncertainty since the July departure of its first director, Patricia Ladd, and no permanent replacement has been found. After the Monday resignation of the sole teacher representative on the board, Stacey Roth, several teachers aired their concerns about the board and the leadership search.
“I have watched our school transform from one that welcomed parent and teacher input on major decisions to one that now turns a blind eye to the input of others,” said teacher Robert Ryles, according to a written copy of his remarks. He added, “Our staff feels that our concerns are being ignored. This has created an atmosphere in which many staff members now question the motives of the board and wonder if there will be retaliation for staff members who express their views.”
Board Chairman Maurice Wilson chalked up the anxiety to misunderstandings and promised to improve communication between teachers and the board, announcing that the board would not only replace Roth but add a second teacher representative to the body. Such boards have significant power in charter schools, which are operated independently from school districts. Along similar lines, Keiller’s new interim executive director, Linda Rees, pledged to rebuild trust and boost morale at Keiller during her tenure.
“I want to do whatever is necessary to help move past the negativity,” Rees said at the board meeting. “I haven’t seen it until today, but obviously it is there.”