Dillingham School Board supports admin, district's decision to fire elementary principal

Oct 8, 2021

In a letter, the school board says it is aware that some employees cast votes of no confidence in the district's senior administration. The board says it supports the administration.

The Dillingham Middle/High School. Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Credit Izzy Ross/KDLG

According to a news release, the Dillingham School Board supports the school district’s decision to fire former Elementary School Principal Nick Schollmeier. 

 

Last week, the district announced that Schollmeier was no longer employed at the school. He served as principal for the past seven years.

 

Some teachers and staff asked for Schollmeier to be reinstated in a letter to the school board. According to Teachers Union President Stephanie Jenson, 21 of the 39 people who cast votes of no confidence in the administration signed their names to the letter, which also called for the school board to begin the search for a new superintendent and vice superintendent. 

In the school board’s letter, released today and signed by Board Chair Helen Smeaton, school board members say they are aware of the vote of no confidence in Superintendent Jason Johnson and Assistant Superintendent Vincent Kane. 

 

The board said, “We know this does not represent many DCSD staff as evidenced through their on-going outreach to us.”

Smeaton also confirmed in a follow-up email that the “personnel matter” the letter references is the termination of Schollmeier’s employment.

In the school board's release, it reiterated support for the district’s senior administration multiple times. 

 

This is Johnson’s fourth year as superintendent. The school board said, “He and Mr. Kane have made many valuable contributions to the school district that will positively impact students for years to come.”

 

The board pointed to accomplishments like more support for special education services and bringing in more than $7 million in grant funding.

 

The board also said Johnson and Kane’s work has led to “one of the highest staff retention rates in recent history,” and noted that there have been fewer student suspensions and expulsions since the two began leading the district.

 

Union President Jenson said in an email today that “a majority of staff still supports the letter to the school board condemning the decision to remove Mr. Schollmeier. The vote of no confidence continues to stand regardless of how the board feels.”

Jenson said she was referring to a majority of teachers, teacher’s aides, custodial, and kitchen staff. 

Superintendent Johnson said in an emailed response to a request for comment on the school board’s letter, “We will remain committed to honoring and respecting the various feelings that exist with this matter and ask that everyone move forward with grace in order to ensure that our students remain the focal point.”

Read the school board’s full letter here.

The school board has a work session on Oct. 18. The next school board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 25.

Contact the author at izzy@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.