The Examiner

Petition Submitted to P’ville Board of Ed Over Bartz Controversy

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Outgoing Pleasantville High School Principal Dawn Bartz.
Outgoing Pleasantville High School Principal Dawn Bartz.

Concerned community members presented the Pleasantville Board of Education Tuesday night with a petition containing close to 400 signatures urging trustees to temporarily reinstate high school Principal Dawn Bartz.

During another contentious board meeting, resident Matthew Hammond handed the board the petition with 388 names collected over two days. It also urged district officials to halt the current search for a new principal and hire an independent consultant to investigate the circumstances and events surrounding Bartz’s resignation.

“As taxpayers in this community,” the petition states, “we want to be sure all mandated procedures were properly followed.”

As of late Wednesday night, the online petition had 444 names, though about 30 were registered as anonymous. A few others were signed more than once and by people who live outside the district.

At the July 9 board meeting, new board President Shane McGaffey acknowledged the petition circulating in the community. He said a mutual agreement had been reached and that the board followed proper protocol.

“(The board) sees no reason to reexamine the circumstances,” McGaffey said. “At this time, the board believes moving forward is in the best interest of the community.”

Hammond, who has two children in the high school and was the first speaker at Tuesday’s meeting, said the petition was addressing human resource-related issues. He added that the previous search that led to Bartz being hired was extensive.

“We are taking a process that took five months and trying to make it into four weeks,” Hammond said.

The board has stated they want to find a permanent principal by Aug. 1.

“We, the constituents of the Pleasantville School District are asking the school administration to do what’s best for the kids,” Hammond added. “And we feel the following plan of action will meet everybody’s need.”

Once Hammond finished speaking, much of the crowd stood and applauded for almost a minute.

McGaffey reiterated the board received and approved a resignation and that the board is “100 percent behind” Superintendent Mary-Fox-Alter. The comment prompted a few jeers.

Bartz, Fox-Alter, former board president and current Trustee Lois Winkler and the Pleasantville Administrator Association’s Stephen Chamberlain signed an agreement May 23, resulting in Bartz’s resignation. The resignation was accepted at a tense June 18 meeting. Her last day on the job is July 31.

Bartz has claimed that she was forced out because of a few teacher complaints.

Check back in Tuesday’s Examiner and throughout the week online for more from the Pleasantville Board of Education meeting.


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