After listening to testimony for over an hour on Tuesday, Oct. 9, the Grove School Board voted to terminate a cafeteria worker.

By a 3-0 vote during the meeting, the board approved dismissing Kim Moore, a cook at the high school campus.

Board president Dr. James Rutter recused himself from the proceedings and board member Jerry Crossley was not present. 

Doug Mann, the school’s attorney outlined the school’s case against Moore saying a doctor had released her to return to work with no restrictions.

Moore was given the opportunity to move into a bus driver position but declined saying she did not have the necessary license, he said.

“Whenever I was dismissed I had not even competed with my physical therapy that had already been approved,” said Moore, who wore a black knee brace on her left leg. “I could not stand for my than 15 minutes.”

Moore sustained a work-related injury on April 26 to her knee and was seen at Rapid Remedy for treatment and released to return to work that day.

She continued to work without any absences until the end of school year, Mann said. But during the summer, Moore sought additional treatment and was offered physical therapy. 

Mann said Moore was released to return to work without any restrictions in September but texted Kathy Hannah, the cafeteria manager, saying she could not return to work with no restrictions.

Moore asked for a stool to set on but was told it was unsafe.

“We have other people in that kitchen that when they are injured they are allowed to do certain things,” Moore said.

Citing favoritism Moore said she was not allowed the same accommodations that other employees are allowed.

“It’s not fair,” Moore said.

“There were no reasonable accommodations in which she would do her job,” according to Dobson’s testimony.

Dodson testified termination proceeds started for the following reasons after Moore declined to resign from her post.

Unapproved or excessive absenteeism. Refusal or failure to do work assignment. Best interests of the school.

Moore said is was a single parent with two children and could not afford to resign.

The hour-and-half hearing concluded with Clara Mills, Terry Jones and Karen Dyer, meeting in executive session for 15 minutes after hearing testimony from Dobson and Melissa Sturgeon, who oversees the Human Resources department.

When the board members returned from executive session they adopted the findings of fact and voted to dismiss Moore. 

In other employment matters, the board hired two special education instructors, Lezlie Marshall and Priscilla Stanley on temporary contracts. Stanley must obtain her special education certification. 

Other hires are:

Shannon Sergeant and Cindy Winters, paraprofessionals. Kary Caraway, mechanic. James Beseau, Lance Crowder, and Roland Schiavello, bus drivers. Jennifer Eddy and Terri Towle, bus aides.

The board also approved the substitute teacher list for the current school year and took no action on a high school baseball trip to Orlando, Florida during spring break.