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Demotion of Principal
By Susan Doherty


June 08, 2006

Sitnews readers-

I feel compelled to send a copy of the e-mail I sent to the President of the School Board on Monday about the demotion of Larry Eklund. As of 10 pm on Wednesday I have received absolutely no response from him. I believe it is important for the community to know all the facts in this matter and to understand that all reasonable avenues for communication were ignored by the people in power that we as citizens elected to represent us, expecting that they would conduct themselves in professional and honorable ways. I encourage everyone to become informed in the facts surrounding the issues in this case and not rely on the opinion of your oil man, or the lady that sells the washers, dryers, and stoves at the local outlet. Show up at the School Board meeting on the 14th, or watch it on the t.v., or have someone tape it for you, so you can form your own opinion as to whether the actions taken against the Principal of the High School are warranted. I use his first name in the e-mail, if you are not familiar with the name, it is Russell Thomas, owner of The Cedars Lodge, Silverking Lodge, and Clover Pass Resort. I hope he shows more respect and consideration for his clients and staff than he has shown me.

Susan Doherty
Ketchikan, AK - USA



I really hope calmer heads will prevail, and, as President of the School Board, you will put a thaw to the snow ball that is rapidly growing. I have not always agreed with you or your decisions regarding school matters, however, I did believe that you went into each decision with an open mind, looked at the information, and the options available, and made your decision based on what was fiscally responsible, ethically correct, or best for kids, depending on the situation and issue. For those reasons, even though I think some of our fundamental educational beliefs differ, I did vote for you, and was an advocate for you becoming the President of the Board. You are not afraid to make a tough, or even unpopular decision, when there are no reasonable or rational alternatives.

I have taken a couple of days to "cool" because I was immediately outraged and infuriated by the news I had heard. By now I am getting calls left and right as word spreads, from all factions of citizens who are absolutely outraged. If Mr. Erdrick was reassigned and that was it, the Board would have taken some heat, but I don't think enough people had the negative energy or time to make a big fight and issue out of it. Now that his re-assignment (at a very handsome salary I must say) and Larry's demotion come in practically the same breathe, you have attracted the attention of those who generally have way too many constructive things to do with their time than get involved in micro managing.

Please tell me, as the President of the School Board, that you will intervene in this latest string of bad decisions and actions that have occurred since Mr. Martin has taken the reins as Superintendent. Larry has been the best administrator that this district has seen in a long time, he has one more year, so what is the point? Even if you dont like him, what other credible principal would find themselves unemployeed at this late date in the annual process? A line has been crossed with this latest decision, just like the events that triggered the recall. From the reaction I am hearing, you have hit a nerve that goes much deeper than that of the recall. It also spans a wider citizen base, that is not just parents, but consists of current students, past students, past parents, and an entire church congregation.

I don't want to waste your time or mine, but can tell you right now that besides being outraged at this decision, if it stands, I will be equally outraged to be spending my precious time fighting it, as will the hoards of other people who usually don't quibble about the small stuff. This isn't small stuff. This is about justice, this is about what is morally right, this is about standing by a neighbor and a friend in their hour of need. My God, I can not believe any of you think this is the right thing to do. A line has been crossed in many, many, peoples' opinion. Are we going to have a blood bath over this? We have had enough turmoil, no one wants this fight, but it will happen, and just like the other, it will be ugly. Please show some leadership and put a stop to this now before the snowball grows exponentially, and along the way damages the very fiber that makes us proud to be part of this community, Please...

Susan Doherty

About: "Resident of Ketchikan for 26 years. Have been involved in numerous volunteer activities in the schools, to the point that people thought I was a district employee. Have sat on the report card review committee, the arts review committee, the committee that made recommendations for policy for kindergarden placement, and too many other school related committees to mention. I have devoted years of volunteer time to non profits like Special Olympics, The Arts Council, and almost every sport organization."




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