Editor’s note: Following is Randy Ludeman’s resignation letter to the school board. He has asked us to publish his letter.
The last 22 years working for this school district has been the core of my 38 years as a teacher, administrator, and instructional coach. My experience in Sundance began as the Secondary Principal where I enjoyed being the leader of a great staff with a student body who worked hard to be productive citizens. As a principal I had the opportunity to be on the Wyoming Activities Board for 6 years, the State Coordinator for the Wyoming Association of Secondary Principals, eventually becoming President, and in 1995 was awarded the Secondary Principal of the Year for Wyoming. In addition, our school was studied and recognized by McRel as an outstanding school that beat the odds.
Six years ago I was able to step out of that rigorous position to explore a new challenge, by becoming an Instructional Facilitator. As this was a new position in the state Kathy Hood and I participated in some of the best training in the country and with her experience we organized the first two statewide conferences for training IF’s. We wrote a guide for the facilitator position that was used by the state IF Task Force to help promote and refine the role of the IF and document effective coaching strategies.
In the district I worked together with the principals to compile and use the most recent brain-based strategies that were proving to be crucial for improving teaching and learning for today and the future. I took time to develop working relationships with teachers in order to help them be receptive in trying research-proven strategies and solve problems. I have the utmost respect for our teachers and thank them for their dedication and perseverance to excel under difficult conditions.
With the IF position I was also able to develop an induction program for our new teachers that helps them get on board as soon as possible without any interruption in student progress. I want to thank them for their enthusiasm and willingness to develop strategies that really work for themselves and the students. I want to encourage them to stay in the profession and start building their legacy.
I would especially like to thank Cleo Roberts and JoAnn Peterson, John Cook, Bob Campbell, Kathy Hood, and Jeff Carrier for their valuable friendship and input – and more than anyone my wife and best friend Marcia.
My experiences in the district have been personally rewarding. The support of the parents and community made me appreciate the privilege I have had to serve the district. I will always feel indebted to the citizens of Crook County and in the future would enjoy providing any expertise I may have to afford the teachers and students the best educational opportunities possible.
It is with a heavy heart I respectfully submit my resignation from my Instructional Facilitator position.
Letter to the Editor:
This was presented at the last School Board meeting. I asked that it go on public record. I think the people of Crook County need to be aware of the events that determined my resignation as an employee of the Crook County School District.
I am here tonight to officially turn in my letter of resignation as librarian at Sundance Elementary. I would like this to be recorded as public record.
I started my teaching career in 1971 as a teacher at the Four Oaks County School. In 1989 I transferred to the 5th grade position at Sundance Elementary. Fifteen years ago I took the position as librarian at the Sundance Elementary School. My dedication to the students in both schools has spanned 31 years of teaching. My years of service to the Crook County School District have been extremely rewarding.
I have reviewed the Board Policy Handbook and there are some policies that I feel have not been followed. Due to my concerns with these policies I no longer feel that I can work for a district that is lacking in professionalism, integrity, morals, and ethics that govern the way some of its employees have been treated.
In board policy BBA, Duties of the Board, item number 5 states that the Board is responsible for establishing educational goals, which will guide both the Board and the staff in working together toward the continuing improvement of the educational program. It is responsible for providing for the ongoing evaluation of the educational program against the goals and objectives set forth by the Board of Education.
School Board policy BBF, School Board Member Ethics, number 3 states: As a member of my local Board of Education, I will strive to improve public education, and to that end I will: Render all decisions based on the available facts and my own independent judgment, and refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups. Item 11 states: and to that end I will: Remember, always, that the first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of the students attending the public school.
Board policy BBF (2), Board Member Code of Conduct states: The Board has the authority and responsibility to apply the following standards of conduct: item 1 states: Board members will act in an ethical, lawful, and respectful manner. Board policy GA, Personnel Policies Goals reads: The Board is interested in its employees as individuals and it recognizes its responsibility for promoting the general welfare of the staff. Item 6 reads: To develop the quality human relationships necessary to obtain maximum staff performance and satisfaction.
The staff at Sundance Elementary is a very strong staff, ethically and professionally. This has been a very difficult year for us in many ways, one being the loss of a long-time staff member. But the treatment of Mrs. Hood has had a tremendous effect on all of us. Mrs. Hood is one of the most professional educators I have had the privilege of working for. She encouraged and backed us to make our school a strong learning environment for every student and staff member that walked through the doors each day. She always had the best interests of the children driving each and everything that she did. From the first day that she became our principal to the last day she served in that position she stood at the door and told every child good-bye.
I would like to address Board policy JFCB, Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying. It reads: Crook County School District No. 1 is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, volunteers, and patrons. It is also committed to stay free from harassment, intimidation, or bullying. I feel that the way Mrs. Hood was treated was harassment, intimidation and bullying.
In closing I want to ask the board to read this handout that I am presenting to them, Bottom Line, Libraries Lead to Learning. Mary Jayne Jordan, Sundance High School librarian, was one of the joint authors of this book. It stresses the importance of libraries and certified librarians in every school for the overall education of children. With all the modern technology that is available today I hope that you will not let it replace the opportunity to put a book in the hands of a small child so they can share the wonder of the story, the joy of the pictures, and the thrill of turning to the next page. I hope that when you finish reading this that you will let it guide you in your decision in filling the position of Sundance Elementary Librarian. Thank you for this opportunity to address you. I wish you luck in your continued effort to make Crook County School District No. 1 an outstanding learning community for its students, staff and stake holders. May God guide you in your decision making.