DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – As students and families prepare to rally behind ousted Douglas County School District Superintendent Corey Wise, other former and current school board members from around Colorado are also throwing their support behind Wise. The Colorado School Board Directors group issued a joint statement on Sunday, two days after the Douglas County school board voted 4-3 to remove him.

Corey Wise (credit: CBS)

The letter, shared by Denver Public School Board Vice President Tay Anderson, states the members are shocked and disappointed by the result, further saying removing an effective superintendent “without cause, without opportunity for public engagement and despite strong and vocal pushback from teachers, students and staff is a failure of governance.”

The group went on to say they support those calling for a transparent process in selecting a new superintendent which abides by the law.

Last week, three Douglas County School Board members rose concerns about the alleged method other members took in giving Wise an ultimatum. David Ray, Elizabeth Hanson and Susan Meek say board President Mike Peterson and Vice President Christy Williams met in private without notifying other board members. Some worry the alleged actions could violate the state’s open meetings law.

(credit: CBS)

“(They) had given him the option to resign or let him know that the board would be moving forward with termination,” said Hanson.

Consequently, teachers caught wind of the allegations and called out sick which forced the district to cancel classes. On Friday of that week, the board voted Wise out.

Now, students within the district are planning to walk out of school on Feb. 7. Wise has been outspoken in favor of mask mandates. He served as superintendent of DCSD for less than one year. He was named superintendent April 21, 2021 after serving as interim superintendent.

Read the full statement from the Colorado School Board Directors:

As duly elected School Board Directors representing rural and urban communities throughout Colorado, we are both shocked and disappointed by the unprecedented action to terminate Superintendent Corey Wise without cause by the newly elected members of the Douglas County School Board.
As elected School Board Directors our job is to prioritize the needs of students and staff across our districts and to put our communities first. Effective leadership is rooted in transparency and accountability and requires us to work across ideological divides to create strong and resilient schools.
Removing an effective superintendent like Corey Wise without cause, without opportunity for public engagement, and despite strong and vocal pushback from teachers, students, and staff is a failure of governance.

While the minority voices on the Douglas County School District Board were unable to prevail, their voices were heard. We appreciate their dedication to their roles, their demand for public conversation, and their adherence to all rules and regulations regarding open meetings and the Colorado Sunshine Law.
Former Superintendent Wise served the Douglas County School District with dignity and honor for over 25 years. His endless service to educators, families, and students deserves to be celebrated. We can all empathize with the difficult challenges that former Superintendent Wise and the previous Board of Education faced as they had to govern through an unprecedented public health crisis.
As former Superintendent Wise decides what will come next for himself and his family we hope that they are afforded the necessary time to heal from this disappointing process.
To the educators of DCSD, we acknowledge that this decision causes new uncertainty during an already difficult time. We value the work you do for students and families across Colorado.

Finally, we echo the call by those in the minority on the Douglas County School Board for a transparent process that is in full compliance with the law as they select the next leader for Douglas County Schools. We also hope that the new majority recognizes the need for unity as they will be charged with bringing together a divided community.
We stand ready to support all members of the Douglas County School Board to ensure all students across Colorado have access to a high-quality education that is focused on student achievement and not politics.

Current Colorado School Board Directors
President, Kate Hudnut — Summit School District RE-1
President, Kathy Gebhardt — Boulder Valley School District
President, Ramona Lewis — Adams 14 School District
President, Xóchitl Gaytán — Denver Public Schools
President, Duane Tucker — Englewood School District 1
President, Dee Leyba — East Otero School District R-1
Vice-President, Lisa Sweeney-Miran — Boulder Valley School District
President, Lori Goldstein — Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Vice-President, Tay M. Anderson — Denver Public Schools
Vice-President, Stephanie Mason — Aurora Public Schools
Vice-President, Renee Lovato — Adams 14 School District
Vice-President, Consuelo Redhorse — Summit School District RE-1
Vice-President, Kristen Draper — Poudre School District
Vice-President, Caty Husbands — Englewood School District 1
Vice-President, Susan Morris Mellow — Cheyenne Mountain School District
Vice-President, Laura Mitchell — Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Vice-President, Mary Parker — Jeffco Public Schools
2nd Vice-President, Steven Leflar — Englewood School District 1
Secretary, Michelle Quattlebaum — Denver Public Schools
Secretary, Michael Carter — Aurora Public Schools
Secretary, Paula Reed — Jeffco Public Schools
Secretary, Maria Zubia — Adams 14 School District
Secretary, Johanna Kugler — Summit School District RE-1
Treasurer, Scott Esserman — Denver Public Schools
Treasurer, Janet Estrada — Adams 14 School District
Treasurer, Nichelle Ortiz — Aurora Public Schools
Treasurer, Nicole Rajpal — Boulder Valley School District
Treasurer, Richard Martyr PhD — St. Vrain Valley School District RE-1J
Treasurer, Lisa Webster — Summit School District RE-1
Treasurer, Regina English — Harrison School District 2
Treasurer, Heather Cloninger — Academy District 20
Director Scott Baldermann — Denver Public Schools
Director Tramaine Duncan — Aurora Public Schools
Director Richard Garcia — Boulder Valley School District
Director Rev. Bradley Laurvick — Denver Public Schools
Director Carrie A. Olson PhD — Denver Public Schools
Director Stacey Zis — Boulder Valley School District
Director Christopher Alleman — Summit School District RE-1
Director Chris Guarino — Summit School District RE-1
Director James Amador — Adams 14 School District
Director Gloria Quintero — Summit School District RE-1
Director Julie Ott — Colorado Springs School District 11
Director Kitty Sargent — Boulder Valley School District
Director Beth Niznik — Boulder Valley School District
Director DJ Anderson — Poudre School District
Director James Brokish — Poudre School District
Director Meosha Brooks — St. Vrain Valley School District RE-1J
Director Kelly Alter — Eagle County School District
Director Barbara Clementi — Pueblo School District 60
Director Juan Peña — Eagle County School Board
Director Nate Donovan — Poudre School District
Director Amira Assad-Lucas — Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director Carolyn Reed — Poudre School District
Director Vicki Reinhard — Aurora Public Schools

Former Colorado School Board Directors
Past President, Anne Guettler — Garfield School District RE-2
Past President, Dr. Laurie Albright — Boulder Valley School District
Past President, Laura Case — Estes Park School District R-3
Past President, Jan Tanner — Colorado Springs School District 11
Past President, Jim Mason — Colorado Springs School District 11
Past Vice-President, Tessa Kirchner — Eagle County School District
Past Vice-President, Shelly Jarnot — Eagle County School District
Past Vice-President, Jennifer Bacon — Denver Public Schools
Past Vice-President, Janice Marchman — Thompson School District
Past Director Naomi Johnson — Poudre School District
Past President, Randy Perlis, Cherry Creek School District

Danielle Chavira