I respectfully disagree with the Everett School District’s perception that reassignment of its highly capable teachers is “not uncommon.” What has never happened before is for one highly capable site to have an overage of teachers, yet remove a teacher from another highly capable site to account for its one-too-many teachers.
Always in the past, if a site experiences a lower enrollment and needs to lose a teacher, that site decides which of its teachers will need to be surplused. Most of our administrators are fairly new at their jobs to know the history of our program.
I have been Kathy Knutson’s teaching partner in the highly capable program for the 17 years I have taught at Mill Creek Elementary but have been teaching in the program longer than that. What a gift Kathy is to our program! Not only does she teach gifted children, but she is gifted herself. Kathy’s students know she’s gifted, her parents know she’s gifted. If administrators spent time getting to know Kathy, they too would come to realize what a truly phenomenal teacher they have working for them, and that she is exactly where she belongs … teaching gifted children! All of her training and teaching has been with gifted students.
I value all my highly capable colleagues in the Everett School District and their special talents, yet I don’t see how removing Kathy could possibly be the best decision for the district. If this decision is not based on performance or seniority, then what is it based on? Shouldn’t we value the highly specialized training Kathy brings to this program? Shouldn’t we value the fact that she helped start the program in Everett?
Mill Creek Elementary