NEWS RELEASE: St. Joseph teachers demand action from Missouri State Board of Education


From the St. Joseph National Education Association

For further information: 
Mark Jones
(573) 634-3202 

Feb. 24, 2015

State Board must suspend/revoke certification of failed superintendents.

St. Joseph, MO – Todd Brockett, a social studies teacher at Robidoux Middle School and president of the St. Joseph National Education Association, is calling for the suspension of superintendent certifications for Dr. Fred Czerwonka, Dr. Melody Smith and Dr. Dan Colgan. The suspension of certification is among the most severe penalties the State Board of Education can administer to an individual and would prevent the three from serving as administrators in any Missouri school district. 

“A 13-year pattern of financial abuse, neglect and mismanagement by Dr. Czerwonka, Dr. Smith and Dr. Colgan demonstrates they forgot students should be at the center of everything educators do,” Brockett says. “Their actions have undermined the education of our students and shaken the St. Joseph’s community’s faith in its local schools. These administrators must be held accountable.” 

Brockett’s call for action comes after the results of an audit conducted by the Missouri State Auditor’s Office. The audit found millions of dollars in unapproved salary payouts, stipends and expenses since 2001. The pattern of payouts continued through multiple administrations helmed by Dr. Czerwonka, Dr. Smith and Dr. Colgan. 

 “Suspending the certifications of Czerwonka, Smith and Colgan immediately is an important first step in healing our community,” Brockett says. “After a thorough investigation is complete, the State Board should consider if permanent revocation is appropriate.”

Letter from St. Joseph NEA (pdf) 

The St. Joseph Education Association represents educators in the St. Joseph School district. The 35,000-member MNEA represents teachers, education support professionals, college faculty, retired teachers and students studying to be teachers in school districts and on college campuses throughout the state. It is the Missouri affiliate of the 3.2 million-member NEA. 


Posted Date: 2/24/2015
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