Dear Education leaders:
Ah, teaching in Oregon...
My bosses at Westview HS--Gail Vangorder, Malcolm Dennis, and Mike Chamberlain (one of whom was coming to work drunk, a circumstance concealed by the BEA uniserve representative) also ran off some other good teachers:
Christy Ford, certified teacher; profoundly deaf; amazing individual released without explanation 2003
Rosalind Taylor, African-American literature teacher; guilty of teaching while black 2002
I had asked to quit after being paid $20K less than both my successor and predecessor as Activities Director at Westview HS, then Oregon's largest. I voiced concerns about my building administration to a new superintendent and, within weeks, Ms. VanGorder (a veteran asst. principal) solicited a sexual harassment complaint from our school librarian, a complaint consisting of three absurd charges that I was never told about until I was fired--and then I was forced to wait six months to answer them.
In the meantime, my OEA lawyer, Tom Doyle, appeared in my life and soon filed a million-dollar freedom of speech suit against the most popular superintendent in the state--without my consent--that he used to manipulate me, to expose unrelated medical and financial records, and to prolong my ordeal.
My mother, a classroom teacher for 35 years whom we had recently moved to hospice care in Oregon, died a year and a half into the protracted process.
The Oregonian's David Anderson wrote about me several times without contacting me. My union lawyer assured Mr. Anderson that he was working to get my job back while he delayed appealing undocumented findings for over two years.
My complaints to the OEA leadership, beginning within weeks of my illegal termination, were ignored and ridiculed by Tom Husted, longtime BEA uniserve, Trish Parks, former BEA president, Larry Wolf (former OEA president), Mark Toledo (OEA legal director), Richard Sanders (current OEA executive director) and Gail Rasmussen (current OEA president).
Hanna Vaandering, OEA vice president from Beaverton and OEIB member--ostensibly leading our school reform, brought me an illegal settlement document in an effort to shelter dishonest lawyers previously employed by the BSD.
The TSPC director, Vickie Chamberlain, hired in 2002 by the very superintendent I was "suing," presented me for several years with an array of confessions to sign to preserve my license to teach. When I consistently refused, Ms. Chamberlain persuaded a state ALJ, Andrea Sloan, to use an unprecedented preclusion finding to suspend my license, almost four years after I had been illegally fired.
That's the business plan for an education industry where teachers are chattel...Bullies running schools. Ironically, that's what my initial complaint to Jerry Colonna was about--unaccountable school administrators exploiting vulnerable teachers...and by extension, their students.
So, Ms. Chamberlain of the Oregon Teacher (Double) Standards and (Deviant) Practices Commission, you are damn right I'm still angry after many years--my mom was dying while I was fighting a union I had paid for ten years...while you were helping the union representatives and the lawyers cheat the teachers.
Until people like you are held accountable, reform is a mirage.