TCAPS Superintendent Responds to Vote of No Confidence By TCAA

“The anonymity of these complaints does not readily lend itself to a healthy resolution.”

Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent Paul Soma is responding after getting a vote of no confidence from the Traverse City Administrators Association.

An eight page letter was sent to the TCAPS school board outlining several concerns and accusations.

The letter was sent from the TCAA, which is made up of principals and assistant principals that represent all 17 schools in the district.

It follows months of investigations looking into claims of harassment and intimidation by TCAPS Superintendent Paul Soma.

The letter outlines five different allegations including bullying and intimidation, specifically to female principals, and undermining school leaders with multiple examples of each.

But it’s important to remember that at this time, these are just allegations that are now being investigated.

“People make allegations all the time, and until you get both sides of the story, I think it would be premature to judge the allegations themselves,” said Jan Geht, a TCAPS school board member.

Of the 31 members that voted to approve the vote of no confidence 26 voted yes, 2 voted no and 3 did not vote.

“I think that a vote of no confidence by 26 principals is a serious matter, and I think the superintendent will have to address how he plans to regain their confidence,” explained Geht.

The board met on Tuesday to go over the letter and decide what to do moving forward.

They will now have a special meeting on Saturday to give the TCAA a chance to address the board.

They’ll meet again Monday for the evaluation of Soma.

“People have differences of opinion and I know that our administrators at their core are dedicated to serving children, and that’s something that we share in common,” said Superintendent Soma. “People are going to disagree with my approach sometimes and with my decisions, that’s part of being a leader.”

Soma says while he respects the TCAA’s right to proceed how they have, he is disappointed that the allegations brought to the board were never brought to his attention directly.

“I have confidence in our board and, as I have throughout the school year, will continue to follow the board’s directives in responding to this continuous stream of unfounded allegations,” explained Soma.

Soma also said that the students will remain his top priority.

We will be attending Saturday’s meeting to bring you continuing coverage on this still developing story.

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