Kyrene School District’s governing board has approved the firing of a recently hired special needs teacher at an Ahwatukee elementary school for walking off the job less than a week after he started.
The board last week approved the dismissal of Timothy R. Schuneman, who had begun teaching Aug. 1 at Kyrene Del Milenio.
According to formal charges for dismissal presented to the board, Schuneman had been on the job only four days Aug. 4 when he told Principal Carrie Furedy that he had difficulty managing a new kindergarten student who had never been in an educational setting before.
Although Furedy offered to move the student to a different teacher, Schuneman refused the offer and instead left his building keys in the school front office. The next day, a Friday, he went to the district office, surrendered his badge and announced he was resigning, the formal charges said.
Later that day, he told two district directors “that he did not feel equipped to manage a difficult kindergarten student who hits and kicks,” the charges said.
District officials then offered Schuneman additional training and, when he refused that, warned him that he had to submit a resignation letter to the school board and then wait until they could find a replacement.
Otherwise, officials warned, Kyrene would file a complaint with the state Education Department, which could then suspend or revoke his teaching certificate.
When the teacher failed to show up for work the following Monday, district officials gave him a final warning and a last chance to follow procedures for resigning.
The board found that Schuneman violated both his contract with the district and state teacher regulations.
Schuneman could not be reached for comment.