Joint statement from the board regarding the hire of Travis Fleshner
Grundmeyer Leader Search performed a thorough vetting of Travis Fleshner including multiple formal and informal reference checks, social media review and licensure verification when presenting him as a candidate to the Aplington-Parkersburg Community School District. The firm confirmed that they would put their reputation on the line in support of Mr. Fleshner.
Travis Fleshner was selected as the candidate of choice by the Aplington-Parkersburg school board due to but not limited to the following criteria:
Based on feedback from the interview teams during the formal interview process, Travis was the top rated finalist by multiple groups.
Travis has superintendent experience
There are existing relationships between Travis Fleshner and current staff at AP. This is a strength for the board. Donald Clifton, the former educational psychologist who founded Gallup and is father of the world-wide strengths movement, has found that those who have strong work relationships are more engaged, produce higher-quality work and have a higher state of well being.
Being from the same conference, Travis already has many positive relationships and connections that will serve our district well including other conference superintendents, AEA staff and politicians.
Travis Fleshner has experience serving a district with two towns, knowing how to manage each town individually as well as collectively -- a skill that is a benefit at AP. This is a skill other candidates did not possess.
Travis has been fiscally responsible while at Union, meeting financial challenges in his district during trying times. Understanding school finance, being responsible to taxpayers, and doing what is best for students are desirable qualities Travis has demonstrated.
A common theme among his references is that Travis Fleshner approaches each decision with the following mantra - "What is best for students".
Travis Fleshner is an advocate for quality daycare in small towns to assist in attracting families and quality teachers to his district. There is a need in our community for additional daycare options and Travis has experience in planning and implementing the Little Knights Learning Center Daycare in Dysart. Supporting articles:
Travis Fleshner makes academic excellence a priority. The Iowa School Performance Profile measures several educational elements to rate schools across the state of Iowa. Ratings from highest to lowest are: Exceptional, High Performing, Commendable, Acceptable, Needs Improvement, and Priority. The 2021 ratings of Aplington-Parkersburg Schools compared to Union Schools are:
Elementary - Acceptable
Middle School - Commendable
High School - Commendable
Elementary - High Performing
Middle School - Commendable
High School - Commendable
Travis presented a comprehensive entrance plan to the school board during his interview, demonstrating specifics on how he will engage with staff, students, community, and board members upon hire.
Travis is a veteran. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has received the following military honors and awards including but not limited to: Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, Meritorious Unit Award, Joint Meritorious Award, Company Soldier of the Year (2), Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (6), Army Achievement Medal (3), Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
Travis serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.
Travis is involved and visible in his community as a member of the La Porte City Economic Development Group Committee and the La Porte City American Legion.
Travis promotes school and community collaboration between the school boards and the city councils of his respective communities.
The AP board thoroughly reviewed claims against Travis in regard to how he dealt with a personnel matter involving a student and a teacher at Union. While the existence of claims can be viewed as a negative and a detriment, this can also be viewed as someone who has dealt first hand with challenging situations, performing due diligence to protect all parties involved.
In 2021, Travis received a salary increase and a contract extension from his current 7-member school board based on performance, taking into account his handling of the situation mentioned in the previous bullet point.
The handling of the personnel matter involving the student and teacher at Union is under review with the Board of Educational Examiners with a hearing scheduled for May 2022. In the event there are any sanctions against Travis, the board has a plan to ensure consistent district leadership.
We understand we may hear concerns about hiring Travis based on public articles citing questions and criticism about how the claim against one of his Union teachers was handled, however what has been posted on social media and promoted on the Change.org petition is not factual and is slanderous toward Travis Fleshner. Travis has 100% support from the board and the administrative team and we look forward to him joining our community and leading our district.
If anyone still has questions, Please consider coming to our open board meeting February 21st 2022 6PM at the High School
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