Newly hired Gooding superintendent under fire

Four months after Mary Larson was hired as the Gooding School District’s new superintendent, employees want her out.

Ninety percent of employees in the Magic Valley district have signed a statement of “no confidence” against Larson, Julie Wootton of the Times-News reported Wednesday.

Employees have several grievances, Wootton reports. They say Larson has abused her power in order to silence employees, fired an employee without cause, has violated employees’ rights to confidentiality and created an employee handbook without staff input.

The district has hired former Garden Valley superintendent Randy Schrader to try to mediate the dispute. The employee handbook has been set aside indefinitely, Wootton reports.

The Gooding district has been embroiled in controversy this year. Gooding High School principal Chris Comstock resigned in January amidst complaints that a high school secretary was racially biased and favored some students. Superintendent Heather Williams resigned two days later, but says her decision was unrelated to the flap at the high school.