Highest vote-getter from November election resigns from Hayden School Board
Kevin Kleckler says the district has neglected his special needs son
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect Superintendent Christy Sinner did return a phone call seeking comment.
Kevin Kleckler has resigned from the Hayden School Board, saying that issues with the district “neglecting” his special needs son became so severe he felt he could no longer be an effective representative on the board.
Kleckler alleged that the neglect — meaning specific items outlined in his son’s individualized education plan were not being met — has been going on for two years. He said there was a previous settlement with the district outlining what the district was required to provide his son, but he says that agreement has not been followed.
“My ability to focus as a father on making sure that my son is safe and not being so angry with the administration, principal and the superintendent because of their lack of empathy and concern for his well-being,” Kleckler told Steamboat Pilot & Today on Tuesday, Feb. 8. “I felt like I could no longer be effective as a school board member without wanting to strangle the administration.”
Kleckler resigned his position on the board in a letter to Hayden Superintendent Christy Sinner dated Jan. 14.
In that letter, he also resigned his role as a teacher in the district. On Monday, Feb. 7, the board accepted Kleckler’s resignation and outlined how they would replace him on the board.
Klecker, who has taught in the district for 29 years, was one of three new board members elected in November, with his 577 votes far exceeding the total for any of the other six candidates on the ballot.
Ahead of the election, Kleckler campaigned with the other two members elected in November — Alicia Doolin and Ryan Wattles — and each emphasized a need for more transparency at the board level.
When reached Tuesday, Wattles said the board has been advised not to disclose any information about Kleckler’s resignation on the advice of legal council.
“The terms of his resignation aren’t public,” Wattles said. “Because he was a school board member, as well as an employee of the school district, our legal counsel has advised us not to disclose that to the public.”
Doolin did not return a phone call seeking comment.
On Tuesday, the Pilot & Today filed a series of Colorado Open Records Act requests with the district, the board of education and the Colorado Civil Rights Division, an agency charged with enforcing Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act. The requests require a response within three business days.
Kleckler said he had other frustrations about being on the board, as well.
“I was voted in in a landslide because I wanted to shake things up, and I questioned things,” Kleckler said. “However, my last two months on the board, it kept being reiterated and reiterated and reiterated to me that I need to stay in my lane. I needed to support the superintendent.”
Kleckler said his attempts to talk about issues like teacher retention and academic excellence at board meetings were “blown off,” never making it on a meeting agenda. A review of agendas since Kleckler joined the board shows these topics have not been specifically discussed.
“The Hayden School District has a problem with administration,” Kleckler said. “It’s time for me to wash my hands of this part of my life and move forward with my next chapter.”
On Monday, Feb. 7, the board members outlined how they would replace Kleckler.
Interested candidates should fill out the district’s application and return it by Feb. 24. The board will interview candidates in a public meeting at 5 p.m. March 7. The board then intends to name a fifth board member at a meetingMarch 14. This person would serve in the role until the next board election in November 2023.
“I think it is a great opportunity for our community to show an interest and,, hopefully get involved,” said Board President Tammie Delaney.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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