To the Palmyra-Eagle Area School Board and administrative team:

As we reach the end of the school year, we are also nearing the time of year when teachers are given their non-renewal notices for next year.  I have become aware that Eagle Elementary School is scheduled for a reduction of four staff members for the upcoming year. While I do not have to like the cuts being made, I can understand their necessity due to budget constraints. However, I ask that you keep something in mind when making the decisions on what staff members to let go: “unity.”

A few weeks ago, I attended a State of the District meeting led by PEASD Board President Richard Kiehl and Superintendent Glenn Schlender. The meeting had several components, but the overriding theme of the meeting was “unity.”  Listening sessions were held to gather ideas to promote unity between the students, the parents, and the communities of Palmyra and Eagle.

A common idea among the groups was to hire and retain high quality educators. We were assured that the administrators were listening to the ideas of the community and were going to be taking steps that lead to more unity.

During this time of staff member cuts, unity could not be more important.

I ask the administrators and/or board members making the decisions on which staff members to cut to put all employees on the table. I have no personal issue with any staff member, and I wish they could all keep their current position, but if our district is making cuts, shouldn’t it protect its best employees regardless of the building that they work in?

Just like my children are members of the Palmyra-Eagle Area School District and currently attend school at Eagle Elementary, our teachers and staff at EES are employees of the Palmyra-Eagle Area School District that are assigned to a particular building.

If cuts are to be made, all staff members with similar skill sets should be judged and cuts should be made from there – we should not lose an exceptional teacher because they happen to be assigned to the wrong building. Allowing a strong employee to transfer to another building, rather than be terminated, will only strengthen the core of our children’s education and will show that our buildings are united as one district.

As board members and administrators, you now have the opportunity to “walk the walk” of unity, instead of just “talking the talk.”

United solutions cannot be achieved without united problems being addressed. The necessary cuts to district staff are a united problem. I ask that you as board members and administrators of our school district treat them as such, and offer a truly united solution to this issue.

Scott Hoff,                                                                                                                                                           Town of Eagle


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