Audubon Education Association Votes ‘No Confidence’ in School Superintendent

The college labor union says the district has grow to be a ‘poisonous work atmosphere,’ whereas the Board of Education says it’s been talking with district staff about their issues since February.

By Matt Skoufalos | March 17, 2022

Audubon Superintendent of Schools Andrew Davis. Credit: Andrew Davis.

Citing a listing of grievances from a “lack of belief and transparency” to a “vital decline in our local weather and tradition,” the Audubon Education Association (AEA) delivered a public vote of no confidence in Superintendent of Schools Andy Davis on the March 16 district college board assembly.

Speaking on behalf of the 200-member union, which represents academics, workers, aides, and different staff all through the district, AEA President Eric Miller, assistant principal on the junior-senior highschool, mentioned issues with Davis’ management type had emerged even previous to the chaos of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In remarks delivered Wednesday, Miller mentioned workers throughout the district and the AEA government committee had met with one another and with Davis to attempt to settle their issues for the previous year-plus.

After they felt they weren’t making headway, the committee additionally consulted with representatives from the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) earlier than placing the query to its members, Miller mentioned. The vote of no confidence was accepted by 79 p.c of the AEA voting membership.

In an announcement offered to NJ Pen, Miller mentioned that the union had “misplaced our collective religion in [Davis’]  capability to guide our college district.

“His divisive phrases and counter-productive actions have created a poisonous work atmosphere in our faculties, which we worry, if not addressed, may have a detrimental affect on the coed studying atmosphere,” Miller mentioned.

“The college students who attend our faculties deserve the easiest instructional atmosphere; an atmosphere conducive to studying and educational development that we, as AEA members, are proud to face up for. Unfortunately, Dr. Davis has persistently confirmed he’s unable to guide our college district successfully.

“We thank the Board of Education for assembly with our Executive Committee final night time, and are hopeful that they may hear our issues and act in the perfect curiosity of Audubon and its kids.”

In an announcement, the Board of Education (BOE) mentioned its members have been in talks with the union and with Davis about their issues since February, when AEA first reported the outcomes of its no-confidence vote to them.

“The Board invited the Association to talk with us in order that we may hearken to their issues,” the assertion learn. “In the meantime, we began to have conversations with Dr. Davis in regards to the vote because it associated to the general governance of our district.”

Audubon High School – exterior. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

New Jersey labor laws prohibit public employers from discussing their employees’ performance in public, however the board could adjourn to a closed session to have such conversations, which it did Wednesday.

“At our March 16 assembly, the Board met with the Association in an Executive Session, and whereas we can not touch upon any specifics as they relate to district personnel, the Board takes their issues very severely, and can handle their issues with the Superintendent accordingly,” the BOE wrote.

For his half, Davis mentioned he was “blindsided” by the AEA vote.

“I’ve met with the Board and the Audubon Education Association management, and can mirror on the gadgets introduced,” the superintendent mentioned in an e-mail Thursday.

The no-confidence vote is a largely symbolic gesture: each the AEA and Davis, who was initially employed in 2018, are in the primary 12 months of respective three-year contracts with the district.

Miller offered NJ Pen with his remarks as delivered to the BOE Wednesday, that are reproduced right here in full.

I stand earlier than you together with my fellow Executive Committee members and consultant members of the AEA, all of whom have an interest in and obsessed with schooling.

I’m talking tonight a couple of latest Vote of No Confidence the Association took concerning our superintendent, Dr. Andrew Davis.

We started this journey effectively over a 12 months in the past as our members shared with their respective constructing VPs their issues for the state of our district. We often met as an Executive Committee to debate the continued issues from our members and how one can greatest handle every concern individually. We maintained fixed communication with Dr. Davis, usually assembly with him as a group.

We had been cautious in our deliberations, however stayed steadfast in our purpose to maintain the strains of communication open with the Superintendent. We had Superintendent Liaison conferences, which included the Executive Committee and constructing VPs, and we had smaller conferences the place we addressed particular constructing issues. At occasions, we’d meet with simply members of the Executive Committee and the Superintendent.

To that finish, we emphatically imagine we represented our members whereas additionally attempting to take care of the utmost degree of professionalism in coping with the Superintendent.

Before making the choice to proceed with the Vote of No Confidence, we met as an Executive Committee with NJEA, the place we mentioned in nice element the method and process, and, most significantly, sought their steering. We met with our Rep Council and included NJEA so they may ask questions as effectively.

I guarantee you, as an Executive Committee, we requested questions, and we debated. Please know that we didn’t come to this determination simply. We met repeatedly, usually for hours, discussing the professionals and cons and ramifications of such an motion.

After quite a few consultations and conferences, we decided we wanted to behave in the perfect curiosity of our members and proceed with the Vote of No Confidence.

We will now learn our assertion publicly.

The Audubon Public School District has been a district of delight and excellence; one the place choices had been made on a collaborative foundation, and with the perfect curiosity of our college students, workers, and group in thoughts.

The Audubon School District has additionally been a district that has skilled nice imaginative and prescient from our leaders, who had created an atmosphere the place academics and workers members got the respect and help wanted to realize their objectives. Our district local weather was really that of a household.

Over the previous a number of college years—even previous to the pandemic—we’ve got had issues concerning Dr. Davis’ management, particularly:

  • Lack of belief and transparency
  • Inability to speak successfully and in a well timed method
  • Significant decline in our local weather and tradition
  • Unwillingness to hearken to workers and successfully handle points as they relate to local weather and tradition
  • Insufficient follow-through on district- and building-level initiatives and guarantees to workers
  • Poor decision-making
  • Lack of collaboration in planning and decision-making
  • Ineffective supervision of faculty and district administration
  • Inability to retain skilled workers


Membership additionally believes that Dr. Davis has created an atmosphere that makes many workers terrified of retribution. As a end result, many workers members are afraid to talk out about their issues in our faculties and the district.

For these causes acknowledged, the Association carried out a vote of “No Confidence” in Dr. Andrew Davis.

We are publicly informing the Board of Education that 79 percnt of the voting members of the Association voted No Confidence in the Superintendent.

Thank you.

—Audubon Education Association Executive President Eric Miller

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