Just a day after the Aberdeen Education Association delivered a vote of “no confidence” calling for the resignation of Aberdeen School District Superintendent Alicia Henderson, the school board last night adopted a statement supporting Henderson.

“The Aberdeen School District Board of Directors would like to acknowledge the frustration of the community during these uncertain times.” Board President Sandra Bielski read from the statement, “We thank you for sharing your concerns and assure you they are all heard and considered as we navigate this unfamiliar territory.”

An online petition expressing dissatisfaction with the Superintendent gathered over 1,000 signatures in the past couple of weeks.

The entire board took turns reading the letter below into the record last night.

The Aberdeen School District Board of Directors would like to acknowledge the frustration of the community during these uncertain times. We thank you for sharing your concerns and assure you they are all heard and considered as we navigate this unfamiliar territory. As we work closely with Superintendent Henderson, we have witnessed her dedication to our district and believe she is acting proficiently and in good faith. For this, we would like to reaffirm our confidence in her this evening.

The political influence of educational funding is convoluted and has been extremely detrimental to our district. Superintendent Henderson worked tirelessly to convince the Legislature not to let this happen. The impact of the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic greatly exacerbated our previously forecasted budget challenges. With regard to the operation of schools during this pandemic, Superintendent Henderson continues to take guidance from OSPI as well as health organizations. We appreciate frequent communication updates from our Superintendent during a time when information changes quickly.

Please know that we value and encourage staff and community input. As we work toward common goals, it is essential that all parties demonstrate the same level of respect and courteousness. Staff members who have concerns about the direction of our district are encouraged to reach out to the board as well as their union leadership. Union leaders have the ability to bring staff issues to the district for discussion.

Later tonight, we will uphold our obligation to review the goals that were set for the year, and conduct the annual evaluation of the superintendent. Dr. Henderson shared with us last year that she will not be asking for an extension, but is willing to honor the remaining two years of her contract.

We encourage everyone to stay engaged by attending our meetings, reading district publications, and reaching out to individual board members. Remember that our children are watching us and looking to us for guidance. During this historical time, let’s show them how to respectfully engage in truthful conversations to enhance understanding and collaboratively solve problems.

Adopted and approved this 16th Day of June, 2020.
ABERDEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 5, GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY, WASHINGTON

Henderson told the board last year that she did not plan to pursue another 2-year contract after the remaining year on her current contract.

While the letter of support wasn’t on their agenda, it was adopted as a proclamation last night with unanimous support from the 5-member board. Following an hour-long executive session to discuss personnel matters the board adopted the proposed upcoming salary schedules and classified staffing lists with no further action on the superintendent since she does not plan to seek another contract with the district.