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Acalanes district reaches deal with teacher

By asoglin
Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 at 10:18 am in Lamorinda.

We received a press release this morning from the Acalanes school district, announcing a settlement with popular Miramonte High School teacher Sandra Maguire. Here’s what we have so far …

By Brooke Bryant
Times staff writer

The Acalanes school district has reached an agreement with Miramonte High School teacher Sandra Maguire, who was suspended with pay on May 11 after taking a group of students to Disneyland.

The district will allow Maguire to continue teaching public speaking classes at Miramonte over the next two years, although she won’t coach the speech and debate club, instead assisting the new coach as a volunteer, according to a statement released today.

Maguire will also make an apology at today’s school board meeting.
The district suspended Maguire after she took a group of students to Disneyland as part of a trip to the state championships during mandatory achievement tests in April.

School officials had initially banned the 69-year-old, known for her tough coaching style and winning record, from district property, and reassigned her to a different campus next year with orders not to teach speech and debate, her specialty for the past 29 years. Maguire was allowed back at Miramonte last week and told she could take the award-winning team to nationals this year.

“The district is pleased that Mrs. Maguire has apologized and taken responsibility for her actions during the recent trip to Southern California,” said Laurie Juengert, attorney for the school district, in a statement. “The district is also pleased that the parties have developed a transition plan for the highly successful speech and debate program at Miramonte High School.“

Maguire’s attorney, Luke Ellis, said in a statement: “It would have been a tragedy if Sandy had been transferred from Miramonte and out of public speaking, and we are grateful to the District for working with us to resolve this matter. Only a handful of speech teachers in the nation have accomplished what Sandy has over the last three decades and this agreement is really a victory for Miramonte students.”

Staff writer Shirley Dang contributed to this story.

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