Seminole teachers get emotional when asking to have contracts renewed with school district

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SEMINOLE, Okla.--Three Seminole teachers and a counselor are out of a job after the Seminole school board decided not to rehire them from temporary contracts.

Dozens of community members and teachers showed up to speak out against the board in support of the teachers Thursday night.

If you listen to their accomplishments, it begs the question, why they were they not rehired.

"I have been highly recommended by my superintendent and my principal."

That's what three teachers and one school counselor all said as they stepped up to the podium begging the school board to keep their jobs.

"I have now been informed of their board members who plan on voting to not reemploy me and three other teachers for this upcoming school year," Kaleb Gordon, a math teacher said.

"I have been chosen as one of 50 teachers from across the nation to serve as DuPont agriscience ambassador," Dara Campbell, the Seminole High School Ag teacher said.

"We can look at the scores from my end of year test. I have 44 students take the geometry EOI and all but one of them passed resulting in a 98% pass rate," Gordon says.

Some of the teachers bring years of experience to Seminole students.

"Is it worth not rehiring me to get a teacher that's less caring less compassionate with less experience and drive?" Kena Utter, a 1st grade teacher said.

Some community member say it all goes back to small-town politics. Teachers believe they are being targeted for supporting a controversial bond to build a new high school.

"If they're not rehired, the school board is telling every teacher sitting in this room and every teacher in the district doesn't matter how well you perform, in the academic journey of her students, walk on eggshells look over your shoulder, because if you have a different view than one person on the school board you could be gone." Krista Clark, another teacher said.

The vote was 3-2 to not rehire 2 of the teachers and the counselor. Kaleb Gordon, the math teacher was rehired.

The teachers were on temporary contracts, but the superintendent says teachers are typically only cut if they are performing low or if there is a budget cut needed, neither were the case.

Superintendent Jeff Pritchard announced his retirement after the board made their decision, he told us he could not work for a board of people who would disrespect educators like he witnessed Thursday night.

None of the board members would talk to NewsChannel 4 about the vote.

Report a typo