Controversy At Alfred Almond School Board Meeting

April 19, 2017

ALMOND, NY – There was a high turnout Wednesday night at the Alfred-Almond monthly board of education meeting. Two people there were very critical of Superintendent Rich Calkins and board president Earl Pierce. Pierce began the comment period by explaining the rules and regulations in order to be heard by the board.

The first comment from the public was from a lady who expressed a disconnection between board, faculty, and students. She proceeded to say that it’s a shame that a housewife knows more about the goings on in the school than the administration. Also of concern was the fact that in her opinion the board was not taking complaints from some parents seriously.

The next person to speak during public comment, accused Superintendent Calkins of not having the best interest in students welfare when making decisions. His major complaint was about a former staff member and how the board dealt with her actions toward his son over alleged sexual advances. The speaker felt that the board was way too lenient by just letting the teacher resign with pay, praise, and recommendations, and having nothing on her record for the occurrence. He also felt that he should have taken this matter to the State Police, who assured him that a thorough investigation would have been conducted.

The board had no comment to this person’s complaint, instead directing attention to their attorney for a general response on how sensitive matters like this are dealt with.

The next public comment had to do with a number of issues that the speaker feels are inadequately handled by the board. That person, Shelly Stevens, went as far as to ask the board for a vote of no confidence and the resignation of Superintendent Calkins and Board President Earl Pierce. She also urged the board to conduct an internal investigation with a review from a neutral party and attorney.

The public comment period actually ended on a good note with the last two speakers in full support of the board and actually praising the district on safety, transparency, and overall quality of the education that is being provided.