Boulder Valley school board fires Superintendent Bruce Messinger amid investigation

BOULDER, Colo. – The Boulder Valley School District Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday to fire Superintendent Bruce Messinger a little more than a month after he was placed on paid leave amid an internal investigation.

As was the case two weeks ago at the board’s meeting, teachers and parents filled the room, pleading with the board to reinstate Messinger and calling for more transparency in the process.

The district's board said after firing Messinger that his contract would be terminated effective immediately, and that he will receive severance payments.

"The Board is committed to the mission, vision and goals of the Boulder Valley School District and to continuing and strengthening its collaborative relationships with our employees and our community,” School Board President Sam Fuqua said.

After more than a month, it’s still unclear exactly what prompted the district’s investigation or what led to Messinger’s firing. When he was put on leave at the end of March, the district said that the leave was “pending the outcome of an investigation of a personnel matter.”

But before announcing Tuesday that Messinger had been fired, the board’s president told people at the meeting to “respect the confidential nature of the investigation,” according to the Boulder Daily Camera.

Tina Mueh, the president of the Boulder Valley Education Association, said at the meeting two weeks ago that she and her fellow union members wanted to know what the investigation entailed, and expressed displeasure at the district’s decision to put Messinger on leave during spring break.

“The Board feels comfortable that it has acted fairly and in accordance with District policies,” Fuqua’s Tuesday statement continued. “And, while we cannot share the results of this investigation and acknowledge that this may be frustrating to some of you, we ask that you respect the confidential nature of process now and in the future, and we appreciate your continued confidence.”

Messinger took over as superintendent of the district on July 1, 2011 after 14 years as superintendent of the school district in Helena, Montana. Prior to that, he worked in Weld County School District 6 for 11 years.

Acting Superintendent Joe Sleeper will remain in that role until the board finds a long-term superintendent, who will hold the seat during a national search for a permanent superintendent.

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