Burlington High School Director of Guidance charged with six counts of unprofessional conduct

Julia Shannon-Grillo

The following article was previously censored by Burlington High School and Burlington School District administration.

Cowritten by Halle Newman, Nataleigh Noble, Jenna Peterson, and Julia Shannon-Grillo.

On September 7, 2018, after a year-long investigation, Burlington High School Guidance Director, Mario Macias, received an official notice of hearing from the Vermont Agency of Education. Due to six counts of alleged unprofessional conduct, the Vermont Secretary of Education, Daniel French, recommended that the Vermont Educator License of Macias be suspended for a period of 364 days.

Formal charges made by the Vermont Agency of Education in an affidavit obtained by the Register staff on September 10, 2018:

“Mario Macias, Licensee, while employed as the Guidance Director for Burlington High School in the Burlington School District:”

1. “Deliberately falsified information regarding the evaluation of a learner, specifically on a student transcript…”

    2. “Failed to maintain a professional relationship with a college student who was substitute teaching at Burlington High School. Licensee used the power and authority of his position as an administrator and created an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment…”

3. “Unreasonably impaired colleagues’ ability to perform their professional duties, specifically, by pointing his finger in an employee’s face and shouting in an angry voice, by ridiculing an employee in front of a practicum student, and intimidating employees who complained to the principal about these incidents.”

4. “Revealed his knowledge of highly sensitive personal information regarding a student to the student and a third party and in the presence of the third party made the student discuss the highly traumatic events in the student’s past”

5. “Failed to provide appropriate supervision of learners taking a standardized test by allowing students to talk to one another during the administration of the test and creating a disruptive testing environment for a student who had not yet completed the exam. As a result of Licensee’s comments and gestures toward the student, the students felt pressured and stopped working before expiration of the allotted time and before completing the exam…”

6. “Was unaware of the basic functions of the guidance department and demonstrated incompetence, meaning inability or incapacity to perform the duties and competencies required by the licence in violation of 16 V.S.A. 1698(2).”

This article will be updated as the Register receives more information.