Criticism of Douglas County School District Turns Personal

May 31, 2013
Some criticism of the school board has turned personal

Some criticism of the school board has turned personal

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.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

7 Responses to Criticism of Douglas County School District Turns Personal

  1. HR Welsch
    June 2, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Unless I missed the news story on now being able to physically be in two places at once, there is still no possible way that Dr. Fagen could have attended both graduation ceremonies at the same time. End of story.

  2. Bob Terry
    June 2, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Funny a Democrat Union advocate has her nose out of joint because the Superintendent did not attend the MVHS Graduation…a Million years ago when I graduated in 1970 from Arvada West The Principal and Asst principal plus admin staff were the attedees.. Here’s the real agenda…No Union cash for the Teachers Union…No dues for Democrat candidates… I belonged to a Union when I was an Engineer for a major railroad western Carrier.. But what pisses me off is my dues went to Democrats we were TOLD vote for democrats…Hey are we educating kids or spending good money for votes and personal or party agendas and democrats ? If 12 million won’t fix it 15 million will no wait that 15 million didn’t work 25 million will. McCombs wants an explaination…explain this Doll? How does my property taxes pay for Douglas County education and fund your Union…They don’t…but when you get your weeping butt hurt hand into the till I have no choice… Deal with it

    • dewayne
      June 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      well said Bob

    • Karen
      June 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Gee Bob, something up your butt?

  3. kelly rogers
    June 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Sounds like she is off in left base! Bob Terry seems to have the best part of the story. I wonder why the Denver Post even thought the blog was worth commenting on? Dr. Fagen has my respect for now.

  4. Jessica
    November 24, 2013 at 1:52 am

    It’s parents like this that nitpick the board and superintendent that will ruin a great district. When will these people get a grip?


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