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Its official: Ripon fires Terry Messick as teacher
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RIPON — The dismissal of a tenured music teacher was confirmed Monday night by a unanimous vote of the Ripon Unified School Board of Trustees at their regularly scheduled meeting.

School board president Larry Stewart made the announcement at the opening of the meeting following a personnel session that was held two hours earlier at 5 p.m. at the district office.

Terry Messick – a Ripon teacher for nearly three generations – was sanctioned by an administrative law panel on competency that held her as being unprofessional for not following a school district directive that she take additional classes to meet the needs of English learners.  

Messick had fought the directive for eight years saying it was not required at the onset despite the demands of former school district superintendent Leo Zuber.  Zuber demanded that she take the classes and she dug in her heels contending that teachers were not actually required to take the additional course work.

The case went back and forth in the courts several times with Zuber saying that Messick was unprofessional and unfit to be a teacher, because she didn’t follow school rules.  Up to $300,000 in district money was spent in the process.

“One thing the district cannot take away from me are the memories and the love the kids have shown me throughout the years,” Messick said on Tuesday.