Former Vernon vice-principal suspended

B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation hands Tony Martin Dolinar one-month suspension of teaching certificate for marks fixing

The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation has suspended a now-resigned Vernon School District administrator for professional misconduct.

Former Vernon Secondary School vice-principal Tony Martin Dolinar has agreed to a one-month suspension of his teaching certificate, effective June 1, after he was caught changing the marks of a student.

“The district holds high expectations for their administrators,” said Vernon School District superintendent Joe Rogers Thursday, reacting to the commissioner’s ruling.

“We need to ensure and expect that they are holding a high standard, and that parents, students and teachers can trust that they’re doing the right things for all of the kids.”

Dolinar was suspended by the school district without pay on Dec. 19, 2013. He resigned from his employment with the district as vice-principal on Jan. 31, 2014, then joined the teacher on-call list as a substitute teacher.

“In our mind, part of the decision needs to be is what he’s done a career-ender or can he rebuild trust by starting over?” said Rogers. “Basically, he’s starting over again.”

The commissioner, in a three-page ruling released April 29, states that while Dolinar was vice-principal at VSS, he acted “dishonestly and without integrity” when he used his position to access electronic records of students’ grades.

Dolinar increased the percentage marks of a student “whom he wished to favour,” said the release, giving the student higher percentage marks than teachers had given in three courses on the student’s report card and electronic record in the 2012-13 school year, and in one course in 2013-14.

The student received an academic award in 2012-13 that the student would not have picked up if the marks had not been changed.

The commissioner said the moves was done “covertly, without authorization and without advising the teachers or other administrators.”

In November, 2013, when a teacher raised a concern that the student’s grade had been changed in her course, “Dolinar misrepresented to the teacher and to the principal that he had not changed the grade, when he knew his statements were not true.”

Dolinar admitted the facts set out in the investigation by the commissioner.