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Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory


Well, in my house, if it seems like things are starting to turn a corner (financially, professionally, etc.) look again because inevitably you just got screwed.

I had previously written a post about the opportunity my wife–after years of trying–had finally broken through and gotten a job in the St. Joseph, MO school district.

Oh, wait a minute, you didn’t really think it would all come together so nicely, did you?

Well, that was fool’s gold. Apparently (tongue in cheek here) Stewartsville, MO is holding her to her previously signed first contract. For those trolling lawyers out there, she had a second unsigned contract from said district, which had an adjusted salary amount. No, there is no clause in the less than full-page contract for her to break the contract.

Once the superintendent found out that she had gotten a job in St. Joseph, he had her submit her resignation to the Board of Education. After the meeting, he called in a gloating fashion to alert her to the fact that she was not being released from her contract to Stewartsville.


After over a week of contact and email with the Missouri State Teachers Association and many attempts to find an out for her, she is being forced to remain in Stewartsville.

The nitty gritty here is that she is now out a sizable raise (any teacher would be envious of a nearly $6,000 jump in income in one year) and the fact that she has to continue to drive 21 miles one way to work. I know that many of you drive further, but had she kept the job in St. Joseph, she would have reduced her drive to less than two miles one way. If anyone has kept track of gas prices recently, that would have been roughly $1,000 she saved in gas bringing her total loss of income to nearly $7,000.

Contract employment clearly sucks especially when it gives total power to the employer.

Also, yes, it is uncommon for a school district to do this to a teacher. Most school districts understand that when teachers receive opportunities to do what they want, it’s in everyone’s best interest to allow them to pursue it.

Parents of current school children should be prohibited by law from being on school boards. This would prevent them from making emotional decisions.

Finally, I’ll focus on the money aspect of this. Any of you that have read any of my previous posts know that I hate my job. I don’t want to be an airport screener, but it helps to pay the bills. I haven’t gotten a raise in over three years and Shannon’s wages have been stagnant for almost five. Even with the additional income the new contract is paying, she will make about what she did in her second year teaching. That is criminal.

Does anyone think that $7,000 is chump change?

I know that I don’t. That amount of money would be huge for us, especially since I appear to be unemployable for anything that requires a brain.


About Todd Fuller

After a really long search, I found work that I feel is more relevant to my degree--technical writing. While it's not what I initially envisioned doing, it's actually been very enjoyable and rewarding work. I guess I feel like there is still more out there to do, so I've decided I will try the whole blogging thing again and resurrect this site. If anyone's still out there, enjoy and feel free to comment.


2 thoughts on “Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory

  1. Bro that clearly suck big time. I feel you on wanting a better quality job and something you have more heart passion for. Ill be praying for open doors for you and for your wife to be able to have better and do more. Sucks for sure but keep seeking what your heart desires im believing for it to come soon.

    Posted by Anonymous | June 12, 2013, 12:14 am
    • Thanks for the kind words and thoughts. I wish for Shannon’s sake that Stewartsville would have done what’s best for a teacher for a change. Teachers get so many raw deals that it would be nice to see something work out well for mine for a change. I think the superintendent is just lazy and didn’t want to have to look for a replacement, but that is just a hunch.

      Posted by Todd Fuller | June 12, 2013, 6:42 am

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