DENVER — Last week, Trisha McCombs, an outspoken Douglas County School District (DCSD) parent who has been highly critical of the district via her blog and Twitter, railed against Superintendent Dr. Liz Fagen for skipping the graduation ceremony of Highlands Ranch High School on May 22.
“What kind of Superintendent does not attend graduation ceremonies? That would be the #dcsdk12 Supt @DCSDFagen. No show at MVHS & HRHS (?!),” McCombs tweeted Tuesday.
There’s just one problem, Dr. Fagen was already at a graduation ceremony that morning — for Legend High School.
When asked to comment, McCombs acknowledged that the two ceremonies were scheduled at the same time but remained defiant, refusing to apologize.
“[I] will not offer an apology for [Dr. Fagen] not attending the MVHS ceremony,” said McCombs.
Instead, McCombs stood by her criticism of Dr. Fagen for not attending the graduation ceremony that afternoon for Mountain Vista High School (MVHS), where McCombs’ daughter is a student.
McCombs has spoken out against the district before, but her recent attacks on Fagen and the board have gone beyond simple policy disagreements.
McCombs, who is associated with the union-backed but parent-led group, Strong Schools Coalition, is now hitting on a much more personal level. She has even used her blog to criticize Fagen’s recent speaking engagements, coining the term “Fagen headache.”
Cinamon Watson, Community Relations Officer for DCSD, noted that the district has 13 high schools and that the graduation ceremonies often overlap.
Watson refrained from criticizing McCombs, telling TCO that Fagen “[G]oes to as many graduation ceremonies as possible and attends each school at least every other year. The school [graduation ceremonies] she is unable to attend one year, she attends the following year.”
There were four graduation ceremonies on May 22 and Dr. Fagen attended two; Legend High School in the morning and Castle View High School in the evening.
Still, McCombs, a longtime critic of the reform-minded school board has continued to demand an explanation for why the superintendent did not attend the MVHS ceremony.