Issues in School District 8 | VideoEvan Kruegel | 10/24/2012
Certain parents in Public School District 8 are so upset with their administration, that they`ve formed an accountability committee to try and resolve the issues the district is facing. For many of the parents, they say the problems stem from a lack of communication from superintendent Fran Swensgard.
"Fran is definitely a bully, I`ve seen it fist hand, she`s bullied me, she`s bullied teachers," said parent Terrie Nehring.
"She`s unapproachable, completely unapproachable, she`s very disrespectful," said parent Jennie Henderson.
Numerous calls to Swensgard over the last week were not returned, and the District 8 School Board said they`d prefer not to comment on this story. A public records search into one of Swensgard`s previous employers, the Judith Gap School District in Judith Gap Montana, shows Mrs. Swensgard reached a mutual agreement to part ways with the school district in 2011.
A year later, she applied for a principal position at District #8 here in Williston, but was instead offered the job of superintendent. The district contains three schools, but the majority of the issues are happening at Round Prairie Elementary. The school built a modular building this summer to accommodate expected growth. In the process, the playground was torn down. And two months into the school year, a replacement playground isn`t even in the works.
"Last year, you go in with a problem, it was resolved. This year, you don`t even get called back," Nehring said.
Because of a bus driver shortage, numerous students have no ride to school, and to top it off, the school`s principal, Darryl LaDue, resigned last week without much explanation.
"His career was in jeopardy, so he had to step down," said parent Marianne Pack.
"I know he quit because of his relationship with the superintendent," Nehring said.
The district has a lot of issues, but both of these parents would like to see one thing happen right away.
"I would like to see her resign," Henderson said.
"I would like to see the superintendent relieved of her position," Nehring said.
It`s not entirely clear what`s happening inside administration offices, but parents say the continuous issues are having a negative impact on their children`s education. And until these problems are fixed, these parents will continue to voice their displeasure.