About 30 people were in attendance Monday, May 21 at a meeting called by Jerry Wren, longtime teacher at Summit Academy.
While most in attendance were relatives of Wren there were also a couple of other Summit families as well as two members of the public school board and Jim Chmelik of the Summit school board.
Annette Wemhoff and some of her sisters helped get Summit Academy started about 15 years ago and she served as principal for most of those years.
There apparently have been conflicts between Wemhoff and the current school board and principal at Summit leading to her not being asked back for next year. Once the letters and ad came out in last week’s Chronicle and other local newspapers she was apparently terminated immediately from her job as academic coordinator.
Wemhoff stated at the meeting she was more concerned about her son Ryan being rejected as a student at Summit due to the fact he is a special needs student and that Summit has accepted special needs students in the past and Ryan was not the only one there this year.
Wren passed around a letter or resolution which basically asked the Summit School Board to call a meeting this week for purposes of resolving differences.
Wren also stated that if his family members are the only signees to the resolution that it will likely be dropped at that point.
He also said that “If nothing changes there’s going to be a lot of teachers and students leaving the school.”
Wren is wanting to get this meeting with the board and patrons set up this week as Friday is the day other local schools offer contracts for teachers.
Jim Chmelik, Summit Academy board member, told the Chronicle Tuesday morning that the board was following policies that have been in place for many years in regards to Ryan Wemhoff. Policies that were in fact put in place by Mrs. Wemhoff. He also said the board would prefer that this issue had stayed internal but Wren and Wemhoff chose to take it public.
He shared a letter sent out by the board to Summit parents, benefactors and staff after the letters appeared in the paper last week.
Following are the final three paragraphs from that letter:
“Sadly Mr. Wren and Mrs. Wemhoff, after not getting the response they desired from the board have chosen to seek to resolve their personal concerns by organizing their own gathering of parents, staff, students and alumni and publicly sharing their views in the local newspapers. These actions will not change the outcome of the board, and will only serve a personal self interest of seeking their idea of compromise and to force people to choose sides. Regretfully these actions do not represent the ideals of Summit Academy as instituted from the schools humble beginnings.
“The board is not at liberty to discuss personnel decisions. We can only say actions have been documented and consequences have been spelled out if certain requirements were not met. The board has adhered to policies and procedures as laid out from the beginning of Summit Academy and built upon by previous boards. No matter ones position or involvement with the school we all must be responsible for our actions and adhere to policies as defined within our bylaws, hand books and contracts.
The board reiterates that it is standing by the current decisions. The board regrets Mr. Wren’s and Mrs. Wemhoff’s actions. We have sought solutions to mitigate their concerns to no avail. We feel their actions are both detrimental to the students and disruptive to the working environment at Summit Academy. Their actions have demonstrated a blatant disregard for honoring their contractual obligations and also adhering to the institutional policies of Summit Academy.”