To Our Dove Creek Community,
We are writing this letter of concern because of the current elementary school’s principal, Dr. Janet Hildebrand’s (Dr. J’s), sudden letter of resignation. We are concerned because we have been very pleased with the progress that the elementary school has attained this school year.
At this time we do not see the transparency, honesty, and open communication elements that are necessary to keep our district running effectively. Several of us parents have tried to contact the school board and the administration to ask what is happening. We have not received any answers from the school board. There has not been any response to our emails, and even after attending the school board meeting on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 we walked away without answers. During the meeting there was an executive session added prior to the personnel section on the agenda. There were multiple resignations in the personnel section of the agenda, including the resignation of Dr. J. However during the very brief executive session, the board did not call anyone into the session to discuss personnel matters outside of the public eye. Also, there was no action taken to open the elementary school principal position or any mention of how the position would be filled. This left all of us questioning what was happening.
The response from the administration has also been very vague, simply saying they want to go in a different direction. We, however, question in what different direction do we need to go? We have seen drastic improvements for our students by providing structure and discipline that had been lacking, improving and streamlining curriculum, holding our students and staff accountable, getting parents and community more involved, implementing new programs (including the monthly student recognition assemblies, which not only recognize the students, but the staff for their hard work and dedication, as well), and improving and increasing the overall safety for our children, which has included successfully dealing with some long-term bullying issues. We have no doubt that Dr. J has the students’ best interest at heart, and tries very hard to give them the education they deserve so that they have the foundation to grow into successful, responsible, respectful adults. We believe that Dr. J is a great asset to our school, and we are not ready to go back to square one after all the progress we have made this year.
We are aware that a few parents have been very vocal about their frustrations, but from everything we have seen, Dr. J is simply providing structure for our students and enforcing our school policies. There is really no need to have school policy, if it is not enforced. We know our own school board asked the District Accountability Committee (DAC) to work on the attendance policy because our students needed to be in school in order for the teachers to be able to teach them. Then the DAC worked extremely hard on our attendance policy before it was implemented. Almost all of the parents we know have been very happy with Dr. J. We think that often times, people are much quicker to speak out to complain than they are to praise. We think we need to keep in mind that no one in any position can make everyone happy all of the time, and if they don’t make anyone unhappy, they likely aren’t fulfilling their duties. With this being said, we feel that it would be a mistake to let Dr. J go so easily, since she has told us that she loved our Dove Creek community and had hoped this was the position where she could spend her last 10 years before retirement.
Please join us in our efforts to better our school and our community. Let us keep our standards high and hold our Dove Creek School Administration and Board accountable by keeping the transparency, honesty, and communication open.