2014.06.04 Ken Clouse: Fayette schools

As a taxpayer I would like to express my extreme displeasure at some of the things that are going on in the Fayette School system. By all accounts morale among students and staff is at an all time low due to many changes brought about by the current leadership. One involves an expansion of online classes. News Flash: Students don’t come to school to take classes online, if they wanted that they would enroll in one of the many Virtual Online Academies that are available. Students desire and need interactions with teachers to have questions answered, receive encouragement, gain academic confidence, and to help provide guidance in planning their futures. Hard to get that from a computer.  

I also have a few questions. Why does a superintendent who was hired as superintendent/elementary principal to save money suddenly not have time to serve as elementary principal? The previous superintendent if I’m not mistaken worked part time and seemed to get the job done. One person serving as K-12 principal is untenable, there are far too many responsibilities for one person to perform them all well. The same holds true for the guidance counselor position, the services to students will suffer due to lack of availability. 

There have also been personnel changes that will negatively affect the district. Principal Dan Feasel is one of the finest educators I have ever known. When he came to the district in the fall of 2006 the school was like a ship without a rudder due to an incident involving the previous principal. Mr. Feasel righted the ship and went on to serve in an exemplary manner since that time. Miss Barb Bruggeman and Mrs. Alysa Short are also teachers of the highest caliber who will no longer be serving the students of Fayette. This is both a travesty and a tragedy in my mind. 

Ultimately, decisions regarding the school are the responsibility of the school board. In my mind the current school board has failed students, staff, and the community miserably. Input does not appear to have been sought from other than a select few school employees.  

In summary, the Fayette Schools has always been an open, friendly, and responsive institution until very recently. Unfortunately it appears that the damage already done will take years to recover from. This is one of the saddest things I’ve ever witnessed. 

– Ken Clouse

Fayette, Ohio