Thursday November 12, 2015
Long time F.H. Tuttle Middle School teacher Jay Hoffman has been dismissed as an employee of the South Burlington School District. Hoffman, who taught technology classes at FHTMS, was Vermont’s Teacher of the Year in 2013.
The announcement came from the school board Friday, November 6, following a 4 p.m. executive session held at the Burlington law offices of McNeil, Leddy, & Sheahan. School Board Clerk Martin LaLonde read the decision terminating Hoffman’s employment.
LaLonde said, “Jay Hoffman has been suspended by Superintendent David Young for inappropriate conduct with a former student at the middle school. Although another alleged incident was also mentioned by Superintendent Young in his letter of suspension, the board did not consider that matter in making this decision.”
The board held several closed door sessions in recent weeks, meeting at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center on October 29, at the Orchard School both prior to and after the regularly scheduled school board meeting on Wednesday, November 4, and twice on Friday, November 6.
“On the basis of its analysis of the information presented, the board unanimously believes and hereby finds that the superintendent has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that inappropriate conduct by Hoffman with a student entrusted to his care during the 2005 school year did occur,” LaLonde read from the board’s statement.
“In the best interest of the district and its students, it is necessary and appropriate that Mr. Hoffman be dismissed as a teacher/employee of the South Burlington School District, effective immediately,” concluded LaLonde.
Hoffman, who was not present for the decision, has been on paid leave from the district since March of this year.
Attorney Lisa Shelkrot, who is representing Hoffman, responded to The Other Paper’s request for a statement on her client’s behalf. In an email, she wrote, “The allegation is outrageous and false. Mr. Hoffman has served the South Burlington School District with great skill and dedication for close to two decades. We intend to appeal, and we are confident that we will prevail at arbitration and the decision of the board will be reversed.”
No other details regarding the decision were provided by the board or by Hoffman.