On its June 11, 2020, Opinion page, The Verona Press published a letter to the editor critical of my involvement with a lawsuit now pending in Federal Court. The author of that letter premised his criticism on a falsehood.

In the letter, for which the headline read “EA title shouldn’t be used for politics,” the author politely declined to discuss the facts of the lawsuit or my involvement in it. He instead wrote to “…express my astonishment, and feeling of offense at his usage of the title ‘President of Exploration Academy Governance Council.’”

The author went on to declare, wrongly, that this title doesn’t exist anymore as “EA no longer has a governance council, for it is no longer a charter school…”

I fully understand how emotions are running high lately, and that feelings of offense pervade our communities. This is saddening to me and I hope only for healing across Verona, across Wisconsin and across this great Republic. Nonetheless, I’ll not allow a slander to go uncorrected.

The public charter high school that, eight years ago, I helped create, along with some talented, passionate neighbors and visionary school staff, Exploration Academy, still exists. EA is the same public charter high school that it was two years ago when the author served admirably as the student body representative to the Site Council. Student representation on the council was and remains a critical element of the team’s success that I have always championed.

The mistake could have been avoided with some very simple fact checking. During the last quadrennial Charter Renewal process, I advocated for the renewal of the EA charter for the next four years, on the terms which seemed to the Site Council most likely to assure EA’s continued existence.

The VASD voted to renew the charter, on the terms agreed upon with the Site Council. That charter continues through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The rest of the Governance Council, the EA Site Council and I are looking forward to the ways we can subsequently serve the community of learners in Verona in the exciting new building as a VAHS program.

My involvement in the lawsuit is a direct outcome of my intention that no future graduates of EA, or VAHS will ever again be short-changed by the caprice of the political realm.

Our mission remains — Every student must be successful.

Paul Driftmier

Town of Verona

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at scott.delaruelle@wcinet.com.