Armstrong Acted 'Egregious and Disgraceful,' Should Resign: Letter to the Editor

"It is embarrassing to the Stow community that he conducts himself in this manner," said Mary (Beth) Haas in a letter to the editor.

Editor's note: This at the Sept. 10 meeting. 

I sent this letter to the Stow Sentry but it wasn’t published.

Also, please understand that this is solely my opinion and I am speaking on my own behalf without influence from anyone, I simply feel the need to express my thoughts and feelings.

After reviewing tapes of district board meetings and attending some of them, it is my opinion that Mr. Armstrong has acted in an egregious and disgraceful manner as a member of the Stow-Munroe Falls City School Board of Education and should resign.

When business professionals have addressed the Board, Mr. Armstrong has insulted and berated them, and treated administrators and other board members in the same way. It is embarrassing to the Stow community that he conducts himself in this manner.

Instead of being a conscientious leader and discussing with his colleagues how the situation with the former high school principal should be handled, he chose to use the circumstances as an opportunity to, yet again, grandstand to the Stow community in an egotistical way to gain attention while putting the district in a bad light.

As an employee housed in the central office, I was privy to a confrontation Mr. Armstrong displayed after his first board meeting,when he came into and very loudly, angrily and aggressively demanded certain records.
In my opinion his actions were unprofessional and threatening as he tried to bully central office personnel.

Mr. Armstrong was elected to his current position, not through a mandate, but because so many others were also running for the same seat. How unlucky for Stow that the cards fell as they did and he garnered a few more votes than his running mates. This does not make him qualified in any way to serve. It just gives him the title.

Before he was elected he and the other “records request” people have inundated the treasurer’s office with time-consuming requests for information. Is it his motive to task the office so much that they cannot do the jobs they are charged to do? How much is that costing the taxpayers?

Having been an employee of three school districts for a total of 27 years, and as such, had, perhaps, up to 25 different board members as my “employer,” never have I been so embarrassed by the behaviors of any of them, as I am with Mr. Armstrongs’.

His motives and actions speak for themselves and I encourage him to resign.


Mary E. Haas (aka Beth)

Have a letter to the editor to submit? Email it to Editor Amanda Harnocz.

Larry Kinnan September 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM
I find it interesting that Ms. Haas is so concerned about Mr. Armstrong's attempt to gain transparency that she overlooks the actual cause of the issue facing the school, that a school employee changed grades for reasons undisclosed at this point, said person was then allowed to retire before any action could be taken and then the district concealed the fact. Additionally Ms. Haas has without proof accused a board memer of actions that are HR related. Normally I would think she would have gone to the HR director about this BUT SMFSD does not have since Dr. Jones chose to assume that role. In any other place of business in America this would be a clear conflict of interest but not here in Stow.
Daphne Lacoste September 12, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Good Letter, @ L.K--- "said person was then allowed to retire before any action could be taken and then the district concealed the fact. " --- Do you have any idea about what you are talking about? No.
Steve S September 12, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Rod, LEAVE THE SCHOOL BOARD!!!!!! You couldn't have handled this scenario any worse if you had tried. Start a hobby like Bird Watching, you can watch them migrate out of town.
shewithnoname September 12, 2012 at 03:02 PM
"As an employee housed in the central office" ~ Mary E. Haas Yeah, we understand why " I am speaking on my own behalf without influence from anyone". Your own behalf means to keep your job security with the "powers that be". Frankly, your behavior both at the BoE meeting and your petulant need to write this LTE seems to border on insubordination since Mr. Armstrong has not been found guilty of anything. Your "concerns" should have been addressed to your "superior", Supt. Russ Jones, not the Board as a whole. Perhaps you did, but Dr. Jones didn't assuage your concerns?
Deena Weber September 12, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I wonder if there are any citizens of Stow willing to speak up for Mr. Armstrong at the next board meeting...and if they do, what would the repercussions be? Would their comments be allowed?
Indre Howell September 12, 2012 at 03:41 PM
As a completely objective bystander and Stow resident, who has only gotten her info from the Stow Patch and the ABJ (if there are more resources, let's have them) - it looks to me that there are two separate issues going on here. One is with Mr. Armstrong being difficult to work with as Ms. Haas has stated. The other is that there was a cover-up by the Board that needs to be addressed. So we seem to have a bully and a bunch of liars. Frankly, all of it is disgraceful.
Jennifer Nevins Miller September 12, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Golly gosh, I hope Armstrong doesn't embarrass the community. HA! What about the controversy with our former h.s. principal? Those "alleged" actions call in to question the integrity and the reputation of the entire school district and can have long term consequences. It undermines the efforts of both the students and staff at the high school. Seriously! If Mr. Armstrong had addressed the situation privately (and maybe he did), I suspect he would've been dismissed. A violation by an administrator of any nature in the district needs to be handled immediately, appropriately, and by the rules. No exceptions! If Mr. Armstrong felt for one second that it wasn't done that way, it is his responsibility to the district to call it out. Good for him!
Ken September 12, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I believe the man was exposing some wrongdoing within his area of responsibility as a school board member. He probably has been met with so much resistance from employees like yourself "Beth" that he has become aggravated. Everyone should open theirs eyes just a little bit wider, put their big boy or girl panties on, and work in a more cohesive way to make things right.
Susan September 12, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Kudos to you Ms. Haas, very well expressed and I agree with every word. I too have watched the videos of the board meeting and witnessed Mr. Armstrong being disrespectful of presenters and fellow board members and behaving entirely unprofessionally.
Tom Mcfalls September 12, 2012 at 11:06 PM
My hat is off to Ms Haas. People should not be treated like that. Ken you are trying to turn this around. She is talking about separate incidents. I think you should get your head out of your panties.
I.M. Wright September 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Perhaps YOU should practice what you preach about opening your eyes and putting on the big boy/girl panties. You might want to get yours out of the wad they're in. One wants to expose alleged "wrongdoing", you don't do it in a court of law.
shewithnoname September 13, 2012 at 01:02 PM
How is Mr. Armstrong a "bully" by trying to expose a "bunch of liars"? He sounds like a patriot, to me.
shewithnoname September 13, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Put your hat back on your head, Tom McFalls. Mr. Armstrong is a duly elected Board Trustee and HE should not be treated the way he has been treated by these crony crones. The American people want ACCOUNTABILITY in their public schools and Mr. Armstrong is holding them accountable! Jones and Bulgrin should resign and SMF voters should demand a recall of Powers and Bonnacci for failure to uphold their oaths of office.
Stevie Cea September 13, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Yes, Lisa WithNoName, we should totally support a city-wide recall effort to remove two school board officials. And we definitely need more real patriots. Yes, more patriots on our local school board. For heaven's sake, this is not an epic Armageddon battle between righteous American patriots and godless commies happening here in in the Stow Monroe Falls City School District. Get a grip. Seriously. Get. A. Grip.
Deena Weber September 13, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Is it professional to let two people attack a board member in a meeting? The only time an objection was raised by the President of BOE was when someone in the audience "booed". Basically you will be censored ONLY when the board disagrees with your stance.
shewithnoname September 13, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Stevie Cea, Who's Lisa? I am shewithnoname. I thought I was "Fencil" with only 10 friends!
Jan Hightower-Woods September 13, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I fully support Mr Armstrong... Jennifer and Deena I agree with both of you.
Jennifer Nevins Miller September 13, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Deena, To be fair to the Board, I think it was Mrs. Powers had at one point told the first speaker to not use his name. I think someone did object to a "personal attack" type of statement twice. It may have been Mr. Armstrong himself but I can't be sure.
Deena Weber September 13, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I agree with you Jennifer, but it wasn't until Mr. Armstrong objected that anything was said. If he didn't speak up, would they have just let these people talk freely with a disreagard for the rules set forth when the public addresses the board.
Jennifer Nevins Miller September 13, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Deena, I wasn't there so it was hard for me to tell from the video where the objection came from. But I did notice Mrs. Powers specifically pointing out the rule regarding the name usage. Sometimes the audio was a bit muffled on the video.
jiim may September 14, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Give armstrong a raise, hes the only one that deserves it in the entire school system
jiim may September 14, 2012 at 02:24 PM
?? How many of you parents paid to have your childrens grade changed???
James September 17, 2012 at 04:29 PM
In her letter and subsequent appearance at the board meeting, Ms. Haas has made her opinion clear as she should be allowed to do. In doing so, she must know that she has by her own will done many of the same behaviors she accuses Mr. Armstrong of doing. As an example, her statement that “Mr. Armstrong was elected to his current position, not through a mandate, but because so many others were also running for the same seat,” can be seen as an attack on his qualifications, his abilities, and his integrity. I voted for Mr. Armstrong, is Ms. Haas also calling into question my judgment? I knew who I was voting for as well. I wanted a Bulldog on the board as I felt there was a lack of transparency which has once again clearly been seen by the “correction” in the meeting notes that occurred at the last board meeting. The main issue I have with this situation is that the high school principle should not have been allowed to resign and receives benefits from my tax dollars. She should have been fired and lost her benefits. She broke the rules and in essence stole from me, the district, and every student in that school that worked hard and did their best to only come up short. She showed that with power on her part and a lack of transparency on the board’s part, that she could do whatever she wanted to do. If Mr. Armstrong believes an action has taken place that crosses the line of integrity, then by all means act and see it through. I am proud of his actions.
jiim may September 18, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Huh!! Did you really write that!!! Rod you did a great job
James Thomas November 29, 2012 at 04:41 PM
"Bulldog on the board" James, exactly the right tone.


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