NOTE CORRECTION: The original story said a tenure hearing was held. There was an investigation, not a tenure hearing..
Corrected Story: The situation that caused upset in the Hastings Area School System in January has been resolved, said Superintendent Carrie Duits.
Young 5’s teacher at Central Elementary, Emily Hoke, failed to renew her certification at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year and taught without a certificate until November. The window for certification by the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) is Jan. 1 through June 30. Hoke taught into November when a state audit discovered it and fined the school about $21,000, Duits said.
A January board meeting was filled with Hoke supporters who praised her teaching skills and relationships with their children, wanting to know her future with the school and chastising the board of eduation. Today, (Feb. 1) Superintendent Carrie Duits said there was a thorough investigation and since Hoke was not being terminated, discipline was delegated to her as the superintendent.
Duits letter of discipline for Hoke ordered a total of 24 days of suspension without pay (out of a possible 29 allowed); 10 days for failing to respond to a notice from MOECS to talk to administration and teach as a sub since she was not certified, six days for lack of honesty, four days for use of social media to discredit the school district, and four days for the negative impact on the district’s relations with the community.
The suspension days, usually Fridays, are scattered throughout the rest of the year to minimize any disruption for her students, she said. Also, she issued a letter of discipline for a one-day suspension without pay to Beth Rowse. a secretary in the central office, for not reporting the lapse to the administration. However, Rowse did e-mail Hoke eight times telling her to submit her renewed certificate to the office, Duits said.
“I’m hopeful we can continue to do the best for our students in her classroom, and the students throughout the district,” Duits said.