Employee was new to Hortonville district
By Scott Bellile
The Hortonville Shool Board voted to fire a recently hired teacher who was not licensed by the state.
The Hortonville Board of Education convened into closed session for about 10 minutes Monday, Dec. 14, before returning to open session and unanimously approving 7-0 the recommendation made by the district administration to dismiss the teacher.
The teacher, whom the board and administration would not name, was hired three months ago for the 2015-16 academic year.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction informed the Hortonville Area School District that it discovered the teacher was not state certified, according to Heidi Schmidt, district administrator for HASD.
Schmidt declined to name the teacher, saying she didn’t want to hurt or defame him or her.
“We’re just correcting something and moving forward,” Schmidt said about the action taken.
Paul Thome, president of Hortonville’s board of education, said the fired teacher did not do anything criminal. The unlicensed teacher has the ability to appeal the decision, Thome said.
Schmidt declined to say what led to the teacher being hired without a license. But she said during the hiring process the district checks and asks for required documentation and the candidate submits the documentation to the DPI.
Thomas McCarthy, communications officer for the DPI, told the Press Star he is unaware of what happened in Hortonville and could not comment on it. But he said the DPI’s role is licensing teachers and a school district’s role is hiring them.
McCarthy said any district that hires an unlicensed teacher is at risk of having state funds withheld. He couldn’t predict whether that will happen to Hortonville.
Schmidt said she didn’t believe any students’ educations have been jeopardized by the unlicensed teacher.
The state doesn’t often see situations occur with unlicensed teachers, McCarthy said. Thome said no one at HASD has seen it happen there before.
Two long-term substitute teachers are lined up to fill in for the dismissed teacher, Thome said, and the possibility is open to hire a replacement on a limited-term basis.