Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 2, 2014

Northridge German instructor removed because he was, 'a poor teacher'

By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
sherry.vanarsdall@goshennews.com

---- — MIDDLEBURY — A Northridge High School German instructor was removed from the classroom last month simply because he was not a good teacher, according to Middlebury Community Schools Superintendent Jane Allen.

That proclamation was made during a public meeting held by Middlebury Community School Trustees Wednesday at the Administration Center.

Kevin Pack, a first-year German teacher who was hired in August, was, “Merely a poor teacher whose overall performance regressed throughout the school year and showed no potential for improvement,” said schools Superintendent Jane Allen.

Pack was removed from his classroom during the first week of March, causing speculation about his absence in the news media and through social media. Allan called many of the rumors that spread, “simply false.”

With a 4-0 vote on Wednesday, the school board officially canceled Pack’s probationary contract effective immediately. It was the only matter of business addressed during the meeting, which lasted less than five minutes. One board member abstained from voting because they were not present for an executive session on the matter Tuesday night.

“Middlebury Community Schools expects its teachers to place students’ educational growth and needs as a first priority,” Allen said. “Unfortunately, some teachers do not meet those expectations; Mr. Pack was one of those teachers.”

Pursuant to Indiana law, before the school board could take final action Wednesday, certain procedures and due process had to be followed, Allen said.

Depending on the choices made by the teacher, that process can take as long as 45 days. It is prudent, Allen said, that school officials not comment on an effort to cancel a teacher’s contract until final action is taken.

“If at any future time our students, parents, employees or patrons need to know for safety reasons the status of a particular teacher or employee, they will be alerted in a most expeditious and appropriate fashion,” Allen said. “If a teacher or employee is being disciplined or dismissed because of simple sub-par performance, Middlebury Community Schools will respond when final action is taken and as required by Indiana law.”

Following the meeting The Goshen News presented Allen with an Indiana Public Records request for more information regarding Pack’s dismissal.