Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

July 24, 2013

Teacher ruling to stand; School officials won't appeal Meagher's reinstatement

School officials won't appeal Meagher's reinstatement

(Continued)

That figure was still being calculated this week. Meagher was earning an annual salary of $85,521 when she was fired, according to the town’s Human Resources Department.

A decision to appeal would not have stayed Meagher’s reinstatement, Forgue and Colby-Clements said. Meagher would have been entitled to receive her back pay and return to the classroom during what would have likely been a year-long appeal process, a scenario that Forgue said would have created “significant challenges” in the school environment.

Meagher, meanwhile, has not said whether she intends to return to Andover High now that she has won her job back.

Last week, she, too, said her actions during the contract negotiations last year were based on “what I thought was best for the kids.”

“(The union’s) intention was to protect quality education,” Meagher said. “That’s something I think Andover can take a great deal of pride in.”

Meagher said the employment relations board’s decision clearly found that she “used the process as had been provided by the administration.” But she acknowledged mistakes had been made on both sides.

“I certainly regret everything happened the way it happened ... for all the contention and conflict within the Andover learning community,” she said.

“I think everyone involved in this probably has personal regrets. I think if you don’t have personal regrets, you lack self-reflection. We all did the best we could in a difficult situation and everyone made mistakes. We had never been through it before.”

The case revolved around an email Meagher sent privately to 60 faculty members via personal email addresses. The email encouraged them to use the abstain option on reports necessary to move the high school’s reaccreditation process forward until the School Committee and teachers’ union reached a contact settlement.

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