Dear Community Members,
I am a graduate of Cedar Springs Public Schools and taught in Cedar for 24 years before retiring in 2010. I loved my job. We were a close-knit group. We learned from each other, helped each other and were supported by our administrators. I worked on the negotiating team with board members and administrators collaboratively. We could talk openly, expressing any concerns we had.
Cedar schools were at the cutting edge professionally and academically. Cedar was known as the “best kept secret in Kent County.” Now other districts are questioning what is going on in our district and we have become the laughing stock of West Michigan.
Teachers continuously go through change; new leadership, new curriculum, new students. They are not afraid of “Change.”
The change I currently see and feel in our district makes me sad and concerned for the future. We have lost excellent teachers and administrators. We have lost more than 50 employees since January 2016. Why? Our district is divided with their loyalties to each other and the direction the district is going. They fear saying anything because they don’t know whom they can trust and have watched the retribution time and time again. They are scared and don’t want to be the next one targeted as so many to date.
Currently the board has lawyers showing up at “collaborative” contract negotiations. We have paidconsultants supporting some of our new administrators. I wonder how much money has been spent on lawyer fees and consultants in the last two years.
We have students leaving our school system because of the conflicts in the community. Our fund balance is diminishing.
Our top three administrators chose to not live in our wonderful district and the superintendent does not even send her children to Cedar schools. What does that tell our community?
Is this really the direction you think is best for us to be heading? The best thing for kids?
I support electing Ted Sabinas and Mistie Bowser for board members. What they stand for and their vision is what Cedar schools need now!!
Concerned citizen for Cedar Springs Schools
Peggy (Nielsen) Hansen,