On Monday, October 19 approximately 150 people attended the monthly meeting of the Moffat School Board to protest the request by superintendent Charlie Warren to have school principal Michelle Hasbarger reassigned. No public reason was given, as personnel matters are confidential, but several individuals told The Crestone Eagle that the supposed reason was that Warren and Hashbarger did not have a good working relationship.  Since an Eagle reporter was unable to attend this meeting, a report by Julia Wilson of The Valley Courier follows.
by Julia Wilson
Moffat board of education voted to raise the salary of superintendent Charles Warren from $78,000 to $85,000 and to give him a new two year contract.
The board approved the increased salary and new contract at the end of a meeting dominated by parents and teachers outraged because Warren wants to replace Moffat principal Michelle Hashbarger.
Parents and students set up a picket line in front of the school at 4pm, chanting slogans like “our school, our principal, our choice” and “she stays, we stay.”
Hank Day, a member of the Moffat accountability committee, said the superintendent’s decision to get rid of Hashbarger is wrong. “I don’t have kids in this school so I don’t have a dog in this fight,” Day said. “But this is wrong and shouldn’t be happening. Michelle has done an outstanding job.”
Day said the needs of the children are more important than the ego of an individual. “The children are most important,” he said. “He (Warren) should put everything else aside.”
The line of people signing up to speak went out the cafeteria door and down the hall. There was standing room only when everyone was inside.
At the beginning of the meeting board president Linda Sage Godfrey announced that the items on the agenda pertaining to the transfer of Moffat principal Michelle Hashbarger to another position and the attending executive session would be removed. She read a statement that the dispute had been resolved “amenably” between Warren and Hashbarger.
Someone from the crowd yelled out that they would believe that when they heard it from Michelle, and the suggestion that no one needed to speak was vetoed by a crowd that insisted on being heard.
During a break Warren said the issue has not been settled yet, that it was just going to the “lawyers” to decide.
Teachers, parents and students spoke out in support of Hashbarger. A reading specialist pointed out that under Hashbarger, third grade CSAP scores have gone from 50% proficient in 2006 to 89% proficient in 2009.
An open memo to the board from the teachers and staff stated that teachers, staff and students see Hashbarger as a person who works long hours because of her dedication to students. They said Hashbarger is an honest and truthful person who stands by her word.
Parents said Hashbarger knows every child’s name, knows how they are doing in their classes, and their family situation.
“She always puts the children first,” said Kiffani Lee, a parent of three students at Moffat. “She is an awesome role model.”
(Article reprinted with permission from The Valley Courier, Oct. 19, 2009 online addition)
Mr. Warren was asked if he wished to reply to this article and declined, stating that he had been advised not to make any comments.  Sage Godfrey, president of the Moffat School Board did reply.  He comments are in this month’s Letters to the Editor.