Additional Reports

Save Ozark Schools.  Make a change in the school district today!

Patrick Sullivan (husband of former school nurse who resigned due to mistreatment)

We moved to Ozark 9 years ago because of the reputation of the school district. During that time, we have experienced some wonderful teachers, administrators, and support staff who truly care about students, families, and staff. But we have also experienced firsthand bullying, harassment, minimizing, and blatant fabrication against my wife’s integrity. In the coming weeks, I will share more. One thing I will say is that I have knowledge that my wife and at least two other former Ozark nurses have experienced forms of PTSD that resulted from their treatment of certain administrative staff.

Dr. Patrick Sullivan
PhD in Curriculum and Instruction
Former school administrator

Former Ozark School District employee who left on good terms

  • The following comments were excerpted from those made in a public Facebook group several months ago as part of a discussion about teaching conditions in the Ozark School District.

After following this group for months—some people in the group might say—those are just disgruntled ex employees. I am not a disgruntled ex employee. I left Ozark after teaching there for 15 years-17 total. I left on good terms. I wasn’t personally wronged. I actually had a lot of respect for the leaders for most all of my career. I did however watch this all happen to Mr. Swift-he was on my teaching team. I couldn’t even believe it.

I remember Tom telling me at lunch duty (many days) all of this information above and that he had literally not slept in weeks or more due to the pain from his broken arm.

Tom is such an upstanding person. I did watch morale in our school deteriorate as  Tom’s situation was brought to light as well as the unspoken “m” word was discussed because apparently in the public schools system you don’t say the very costly word (mold). I listened to an administrator basically berate an entire faculty over it. Also, I witnessed two other people treated similarly to the way that Tom described in his letter (no not [the Major] because I don’t know him personally). Then after leaving, more and more stories of friends of mine that were either at district office or otherwise were brought to my attention. I am not saying anyone needs to be “ruined” as was mentioned in a previous post but has anyone stopped to think about how some of these administrators have “ruined” the professionals mentioned? Are we going to support this behavior? Mr. Swift was trying to make sure kids and teachers were safe. I am disgusted as an Ozark resident that my tax dollars are going to attorney fees, etc. to protect these administrators (since 2019)--
some of which have been unnecessarily dragged into this mess.

People need to take a stand for what is right. Fear is the only thing keeping people that know the truth from speaking up. Teachers and others have families to support and feel they can’t speak up. They feel they will be next in line for this treatment if they do. Tom Swift is not only a great teacher but he has dedicated his entire life to children. He loved his job and to be treated this way is unfathomable to me. People have got to stop believing that this can’t be happening at a school like Ozark. If you haven’t noticed there has been a bit of a mass exodus from at least the middle school. Ozark is losing great veteran teachers to our neighboring communities, if not losing them entirely. We need a new school board with the exception of Mark Jenkins. Why does the BOE continue to ignore these facts? It should have never come down to this! Make sure you vote wisely in April of 2023.

Answering a comment by another taxpayer – [I agree that] it is very concerning. The people I know that have been treated this way are great people and teachers. I know suggesting to replace the entire school board is a bold statement but these people have been in these positions for years/decades and can’t seem to find fault in what is happening. In the end, it’s the children of the community that will suffer.

Brian Boals, parent

  • The following comments were excerpted from those he made in a public Facebook group several months ago as part of a discussion about teaching conditions in the Ozark School District.
My stepson had Mr. Swift several years ago and I can tell you, he's one of the top notch teachers in our system. [I watched Tom Swift reach my stepson, a feat not accomplished by many unless they’re truly great at working with children.] I also watched as [the Major] reached my stepson through the Raiders program and brought things out of him that I never dreamed possible. If no other accounts for teacher abuse were present in our system I honestly believe that the way these two individuals alone were treated by our superintendent should be grounds for his immediate removal from our school system. Sadly, these two are far from the only situations like this. We have a great school district here in Ozark but it won't stay
that way if something doesn't change. We really need a new superintendent and if the board can't or won't see that, they need replaced as well. We had a good start during the last election cycle, hopefully we can get some more members in the next cycle that will hold the administration accountable for the way they are treating good teachers. Even if you don't have kids in our school this will eventually affect you. If our district becomes a less desirable place for great teachers to teach, the town will follow the decline that the school will have. Responding to comment above by the former employee who left on good terms Well said. The fact is, ultimately, if this isn't corrected, everyone in Ozark will be affected. We moved to Ozark when we decided to move to the area based entirely on the school district. How many other people do you think have done that? I'm certain we aren't the only ones. If the school system deteriorates, the town will most certainly become a less desirable place to live and follow suit. From everything I can gather, the reason the board allows all of this to happen is there's a pretty large good ol’ boy network between members, administrators, and other highly influential people. I personally don't care how influential they are, this type of behavior should not be tolerated.

Karen Matthews (County Treasurer)

  • The following comments were excerpted from those made in a public Facebook group several months ago as part of a discussion about teaching conditions in the Ozark School District.

So, because of the Hancock amendment, which was put into place to protect the taxpayer, the schools were supposed to lower their levies. Most of the schools in our county did. Ozark got around it by moving it to debt service and decreasing operating which made their levy stay the same. Now they have to have a vote of the people to move it back to operating. It’s called Creative Financing by Ozark School, which did nothing to benefit the property owners. I’m wondering how much money they have in reserve. It’s pretty sad when our administration asks 6 & 7 year olds to go out and beg for money for a field trip or playground equipment. Look at your tax distribution. About 70% of your taxes are going to the schools.

Have you witnessed or experienced Ozark school Administrators behaving badly toward employees or patrons? 

We are receiving reports and sharing them here. If you have a story to share, we invite you to submit your experience at Add Your Story As more and more recipients of this mistreatment come forward, the solution will more easily be seen and the problem can be halted. Thank you for your courage in speaking up; your added voice will greatly assist our efforts to prevent further hostilities against the wonderful teachers and staff, thereby protecting our terrific school district from further internal destruction.

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