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Board member calls for sup’t to resign

Published: Tue, September 18, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

austintown schools

By Elise Franco



An emotionally charged email from school-board member Harold Porter calls for the resignation of Superintendent Vince Colaluca.

Porter, who was elected to the board in November 2011, sent the email to Colaluca and other school-board members early Monday.

To fellow board members Porter wrote, “I am requesting that [Colaluca] immediately submits his resignation to the board and we unanimously” accept it.

Colaluca told The Vindicator on Monday he is legally unable to comment at this time.

Porter discussed his reasons why he feels Colaluca has failed in his position as superintendent, and said that district morale is at an all-time low.

“I can no longer tolerate your inadequate and failed leadership that I have witnessed over the past several years,” Porter wrote, accusing Colaluca of fear tactics that “make yourself unapproachable.”

Board President Tom Stellers said Porter’s comments don’t represent the opinions of all five board members.

“That letter reflects the opinion of one board member,” Stellers said, referring to Porter. “All the board members have a deep passion for Austintown schools, and each of us expresses that passion in different ways.”

Stellers said he’d never heard some of the issues discussed in the email, and that the board would “be making sure all of the incidents that are described are investigated.”

Stellers also noted that Colaluca, who replaced Doug Heuer as superintendent in 2009, has had “very good evaluations” during his tenure.

Stellers said the board won’t address the email during its 6 p.m. meeting today at Austintown Middle School.

But Porter said the email has made its way through the district and to some township residents, and he believes many community members will speak up during the meeting’s public-comment time.

“I expect a lot of people to be calling for his resignation, and not just because of this [email],” Porter said. “Things are getting ugly.”

The public has expressed its discontent with Colaluca, as well as the board, over the past several months on several issues, including discontinuing benefits for bus drivers and announcing the district would no longer provide busing to Austintown children who attend nonpublic schools.

The latter situation was without resolution for nearly three months, but busing was eventually reinstated after coordination between the district and the nonpublic school administrators.

Porter also said “we have no chance for any future levies” if Colaluca remains superintendent.

Though voters defeated a bond issue in November 2009, they eventually approved a 2.9-mill bond issue in May 2010 that is paying for $27 million of a $50 million new schools project under way on the district’s campus.

Colaluca has said previously that in the near future the board intends to put a new operating levy on the ballot for the first time since the mid-1990s.

He’s also said board members are considering a bond issue to pay for a portion of renovations at Fitch High School.


1AtownParent(565 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Standing ovation Mr. Porter from this taxpayer!!

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2mim218(3 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Well said Mr Porter. Mr Stellers claims he has never heard these concerns before, are you kidding me?? Does he pay attention during the board meetings? Vince says he has "BROAD SHOULDERS" and can take the criticism so obviously some concerns have been mentioned. Or maybe its the "we will take it under advisement" or we will "discuss it later." Since those two things NEVER occur you probably don't remember because you do not LISTEN to the community! These are my children and their education and they only get one chance at it. Quit playing with my kids lives and education and RESIGN!!! I personally will never vote for a levy in Austintown until he is gone. Honestly I have thought about it for years and if he doesn't leave maybe I'll send my kids to another school!!

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3ALSD_Mom(3 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I am in NO way a fan of Colaluca, but things like open enrollment were set in motion before his promotion to superintendent. I recall attending a meeting at Fitch where Doug Heuer laid it all out, and Vince was logging comments for later discussion. Doc Ritchie is the one who made the threat that if we didn't pass the levy, open enrollment would be implemented with no further discussion. Yet he gets re-elected year after year to the point he has been on the board longer than most currrnt parents have been alive.

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4ALSD_Mom(3 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

"CURRENT "sorry for the typo!

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5mim218(3 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

ALSD_Mom I agree, Ritchie needs to go too. He has been in there way too long and has not done any good for this district. I believe that Colaluca, Ritchie, Stellers and Mock need to all go. They have no personal investment in our community and it shows in their lack of regard to the children and citizens.

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6jmagaratz(189 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Another vocal board member....

Note to the complaining BOE member--your comments are now public record and may be used against you in any legal case that may be brought forth....you should keep your thoughts between your ears--it looks like there is more than enough space to hold them....

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