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Scarborough teachers' union votes 'no confidence' in superintendent

The controversy in Scarborough continues.

SCARBOROUGH (NEWS CENTER Maine) — The teachers union in Scarborough has spoken on the controversy surrounding Superintendent Julie Kukenberger and high school principal David Creech.

67% of the Scarborough Education Association union members voted 'no confidence' in the leadership of Superintendent Kukenberger, according to a Facebook post on the union's page. The post said approximately 1/3 of the members did not vote.

► RELATED | Parents supporting Scarborough principal they say was forced out

According to the post, written by SEA president Justin Stebbins, 'As a result of our vote of no confidence, the majority of Professional and Support Staff at Scarborough Schools do not believe Superintendent Julie Kukenberger and the School Board are listening to the voices of Scarborough School staff. This has resulted in a fractured community. Under Superintendent Kukenberger and the current Board of Education, educators’ voices have had no substantive impact on the major decisions that are being made in our district.'

RELATED | Resignation rescission denied to Scarborough principal

The post went on the say, 'We believe that the Superintendent and the School Board do not respect our professional input and have not been responsive to our appeals for support. The practice of consistently dismissing the input of the educational staff will not result in what is truly in the best interest of our students.

We ask the Administration to join the leadership of this Association to co-construct a well-articulated plan to map out how staff voice will be ensured in all decisions made that directly impact the classroom and our profession. We must move forward together to fix this damaged relationship before it has irreversible effects on those that matter most, our children.'

The controversy kicked off in February when Creech's wife posted to Facebook writing that her husband has been forced out by the superintendent. Parents immediately took to social media calling out Superintendent Kukenberger, accusing her of retaliating against Creech when he sided with the opposition against new policies on later school start times and changes to proficiency-based learning practices.

Creech suffered a setback in early March when the school board entered the fray. In a written statement released March 2nd, Creech's lawyer said Creech expressed his disappointment upon being told that the Scarborough Board of Education would not act to rescind his resignation.

►RELATED | Next move: Community calls for the resignation of Scarborough superintendent

The board reached its decision after a public meeting attended by about 500 people. After more than 90 minutes of listening to one speaker after another voice support for Creech, the board retreated into executive session for nearly two hours to discuss its course of action.

Last Monday, Scarborough parents along with community members, showed their support for Creech by delivering more than 3,000 signatures they had collected to the town hall.

They demanded changes from the top down.

"Each of the undersigned voters respectfully request the recall of the school board members who is an elected official who currently serves on the board of education due to incompetence," former Maine educator Tor Nilsen reads the petition aloud, leading this latest charge. "There’s no way they can ignore over 3,000 people making a statement."

NEWS CENTER Maine has reached out to Superintendent Kukenberger for comment, but have not received a response.

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