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Education News

Two Thirds of New Fairfield Teachers Want Superintendent to Resign

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WNPR/David DesRoches
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New Fairfield's superintendent of schools, Alicia Roy, center, listens as the president of the New Fairfield teachers union tells her that teachers want her to resign.

It was an emotional school board meeting for Superintendent Alicia Roy. After hearing Thursday evening that more than two-thirds of the district'?s teachers want her to resign, she became visibly upset, and struggled to respond.

"Our teachers are truly remarkable," Roy said, "which is why this action? is so devastating to me personally."

Teachers say Roy doesn't involve them in key decisions and hasn't listened to their concerns. They charge that her autocratic style is harming teacher and student morale. New Fairfield Middle School teacher Keith Conway said the vote followed months of frustration.

"She tried to combine the high school and middle school into one complex and hire a principal as 6-12," Conway said. "Teachers found out about it, went to the subcommittee meeting, it wasn't even on the agenda for the subcommittee meeting. A board member said: Yeah it was, it was that item -- Other."

Conway said dozens of teachers are looking for jobs in other districts, and resignations are piling up.

Over 500 residents have signed an online petition calling for Roy to resign.

But not everyone says Roy should go. "From my experience with Dr. Roy, she is very much approachable," said high school junior Fabio Saccomanno. "And although her iron fist may come out at times, it is definitely not around all the time. At the end of the day, Dr. Roy has her student's best interests in mind, and people are wrong to ignore that."

At the end of the meeting, the school board went into executive session to discuss Roy's evaluation, then came out and voted on it, though details of the evaluation have not been made public. As it stands, Roy has two years remaining on her contract.

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