July 16, 2019

HSB Meeting Minutes July 22, 2015

DATE: 07-30-2015

Hartford School Board Directors Meeting

July 22, 2015

4:30 PM Superintendent of Schools Office

Draft Minutes


Board Members present:                                Administration present:

Kevin Christie                                                  Tom DeBalsi

Lori Dickerson                                                 Jim Vezina                                                     

Paul Keane                                                     Noel Bryant                                                    
Peter Merrill                                                   

Paula Nulty


Lori Dickerson called the meeting to order at 4:34 PM.


Approval of Agenda- Peter Merrill moves to accept the Agenda as presented. Kevin Christie seconds.  A unanimous verbal vote passed the motion.


Board Tour of Facilities- Byron Baribeau, David Laurin and Tom DeBalsi were present for the four school tour. The Board toured: Wilder School inside and out,  Dothan Brook outer facilities, Ottauquechee inside and out (did not go to fields), and the rear exterior of HMMS, and parking lot in back of HMMS.

The complete tour can be viewed on CATV.


7:00 PM Board broke for a 30 minute dinner break.


7:30 PM Lori Dickerson called the public meeting back to order.


Public Comments relative to items not on the Agenda-

Bill Soule  volunteer coach HHS states:

  1.  Hartford is having difficulties finding and retaining coaches due to lack of support for coaches. He would like Administration to consider a code of conduct for families and fans. Could the Board’s Policy Committee review this?

  2. A School Board Member/parent  is harassing a Coach. Mr. Soule sights dates of perceived violations of code of conduct and conflict of issue. Lori Dickerson strikes the gavel twice stating no personnel issues will be discussed in public session. There is a scheduled Executive session on tonight’s Agenda.


Mike Scelza, Wilder, speaks to the same issue, citing the Superintendent’s decision regarding the Coach issue and parent code of ethics. Mr. Scelza would like to make a motion to which Mrs. Dickerson reminds him this is not procedure. He would also like to have a public session where the issue could be discussed as this is a non licensed Coach. Mrs. Dickerson cites VSA 16 242 section 3 for the procedure of grievance review.


Two other citizens, names not stated, asked for a complete investigation with both sides of the argument heard. And a review of the process for grievance.


Todd Illingworth, said he spoke with Mr. DeBalsi and no files are kept on coaches. Mr. Illingworth feels there should be records that include reviews and better support for coaches.


Andy Thorburn, asks for clarification on whether the Board would reverse the Superintendent’s decision? Mrs. Dickerson explains the Board can challenge the Superintendent on his decision.


Marcia Landon, spoke to what the students are going through during this whole process.


Scott Brooks, JV basketball Coach, spoke to better parent/fan code of conduct and security at basketball games and other sporting events (lack of).


At 8:00 PM Lori Dickerson moves the meeting along. Peter Merrill moves to add as an Agenda item, whether the Policy Committee should address the fan conduct at athletic events. Kevin Christie seconds. Discussion: Mr. Keane suggests teachers conduct also be reviewed as teachers receive requests to change grades so athletes can compete. A verbal vote passes the motion unanimously 5 yes 0 no.


Several citizens then asked Mrs. Dickerson to clarify the process for the Executive Session to be held at tonight’s meeting. Mrs. Dickerson assures the citizens in attendance that a conclusion will be made and a the Board will speak to that when Executive Session is complete.


Peter Merrill moves to go to Executive Session at 8:10 PM. Paul Keane seconds. A unanimous verbal vote 5 yes 0 no passes the motion.

Peter Merrill moves to then enter ES. Paul Keane seconds. A verbal vote 5 yes 0 no passes the motion at 8:11 PM.


AT 9:55 PM the Board returns to Public Session and Lori Dickerson, Board Chair reads the following statement:

“The decision of the Board is that the actions of the Superintendent were appropriate in that he fully investigated the allegations, made finding of fact, based on the evidence presented and acted within the scope of his authority with respect to his response to the facts in their totality. And for this reason we find no mistake in process and uphold the Superintendent’s decision. We would note that it is not within our authority to agree or disagree with the Superintendent’s decision as long as he didn’t exceed his authority or act capriciously.”


10:00 PM, Peter Merrill moves to adjourn. Paul Keane seconds. A verbal vote 3 yes 2 recuse (Kevin Christie, Paula Nulty). The motion passes and the Board adjourns.



Draft Respectfully Submitted,

Carol Bagley