Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

By Ian Oakes 

No Tenure for Benedict


The Salmon River School Board delivers results of vote on tenure.

In a meeting held in the middle school library at Salmon River Central, the fate of Principal Alison Benedict was decided in a special executive session of the Salmon River Central School Board. Benedict’s ordeal has been spread out over the last month and finally the question of whether her tenure would be approved was answered during this special session on Thursday, July 11, 2013.

The first portion of the meeting allowed community members to speak on behalf of Benedict, supporters, which included St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Sub-Chief Michael Conners and concerned parents like Janique Odjick.

“She was one vote short of the two thirds clause, but she did receive a majority vote for her tenure, and she received a positive recommendation from the superintendent of schools,” said Conners, who has been a vocal supporter of Benedict throughout the process. Conners also spoke about the graduation rate rising nearly 20% while Benedict has been principal, and meeting goals set by the district.

Odjick said, “There’s no reason not to grant tenure. If they follow their policies that are established, she should have tenure. For them to withhold this, it sends a bad message. It’s wrong, that’s why I am here, because it’s just wrong.”

After the board finished deliberating Benedict’s fate, it was revealed that a confidential motion was approved. As a result of that motion, she will resign as school principal effective August 3, but would retain a position within the SRCSD as an English Support Teacher. Benedict will have a two year probationary period to follow. This agreement was reached after negotiation between lawyers for Benedict and the school district. Reasons for the board’s decision were not released, due to Benedict’s right to confidentiality.

When asked, Benedict had no comment.


Reader Comments

caribouken writes:

When reading this article it saddens my heart because one's fate lies in the hands of politics/people who are not trained as educators. I wish her well; was one of my best students.


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