Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wow! You need to read this response from Tim Crutchley regarding Dan Baker

First, I have to say thank you to Ms. Nikki McClain for voicing her concerns to Fox C-6 school board president John Laughlin regarding last week's appointment of assistant superintendent Dan Baker as the interim principal at Seckman Elementary School.

Mr. Baker is the assistant superintendent at Fox C-6 that had defamatory posts linked back to his and his wife Angie Burns Baker's household and cell phone.

Next, I want to say thank you to Nikki for granting me permission to share with the community the response she received from acting superintendent Tim Crutchley regarding Mr. Baker's appointment.

Nikki didn't receive a response from school board president John Laughlin to whom she originally wrote. She received a response from Mr. Crutchley via Fox's new Communication Coordinator Sam Rayburn. It's also the same thing that happened for years when I would email the board and received responses from Dianne Brown-Critchlow.

As Nikki noted in her email to me, it was a "choreographed" response from the district.

She shared the response with me a week ago Friday night. Needless to say, my adrenaline was really flowing after I read it. It was such an unbelievable response that it really needed to be shared with the community.

It provides an opportunity for the community to see how a message can be spun to shine a light on all of the good things that can come out of doing really disgraceful things as a school educator/administrator.

I really don't want to put too much of my input in on the first release of this document. I'll just let everyone read it and absorb it!

I do want to mention that Mr. Laughlin did email a personal response to Ms. McClain yesterday after she emailed her take on Mr. Crutchley's response to Mr. Laughlin yesterday.

Mr. Laughlin stated in his response to Nikki that "Due to laws and contracts this is a one year issue that we are half way complete with." There was more to his response but the main thing that I and many others have been concerned with is why the board didn't fire Dianne Critchlow and why they haven't fired Dan and Angie Baker.

Mr. Laughlin's response to Nikki regarding the laws and contracts is why I emailed Mr. Laughlin this morning requesting the Missouri and/or Federal statutes and contracts language that has kept the school board from firing district administrators for their egregious behavior and violations of school board policy and/or federal laws. I'm looking forward to reviewing the statutes and the language protecting those that should have been fired.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, internet posts were traced not only to Dan Baker's household but also to either his or Angie Burns Baker's cell phones. One of the posts made from a Baker cell phone was made at 7:16am on a school day.

Internet posts were also made from school computers during the school day but those posts can't be easily linked to a particular person like those that were made using a cell phone.

Below is a copy of the email from acting superintendent Tim Crutchley sent to Ms. Nikki McClain on Friday December 19, 2014 regarding the appointment of Dan Baker as the interim principal at Seckman Elementary School.

Ms. McClain, 
Thank you for sharing your concern. 
The Board of Education is committed to partnering with parents to help every student become successful at school by reaching their potential. Likewise, the Board of Education is committed to the expectation of a respectful and positive culture in school buildings for both students and staff. 
A review of student performance data is evidence that change is necessary at Seckman Elementary to improve educational outcomes for students. Mr. Baker was successful as a former principal at Hodge Elementary. The goal of appointing him on an interim basis as instructional leader at Seckman Elementary is to begin the improvement process. 
True, the internet post being referenced was unacceptable behavior. Mr. Baker acknowledges that transgression. He has apologized publically and has been duly disciplined by the Board of Education with loss of compensation and rank. Today, Mr. Baker fully understands the performance and code of conduct expectations of the school board, and he has demonstrated his willingness to comply with those expectations. 
Fox School District rightfully promotes good “character” traits among students and staff. At the very least, that internet post failed to show “respect” and possibly other character qualities. It is reasonable to promote all aspects of good character. Another good character trait is “forgiveness,” when the offender is contrite. Anyone who has learned from their mistakes, greatly appreciates being given a second chance and typically works extra hard to demonstrate that forgiveness was not misplaced. 
Mr. Baker is a quality educator. Mr. Baker is prepared to work hard to earn back the trust and respect of the community. His contrition and his commitment to hard work earn him the opportunity to take on the educational challenges at Seckman Elementary. 
Give Mr. Baker a chance. Hopefully you will discover why the District trusts Mr. Baker with this responsibility. 
Tim Crutchley
Acting Superintendent
745 Jeffco Blvd
Arnold, Mo 63010
636-282-5170 fax

Achievement - Character - Excellence
National District of Character