State Revokes Burlington Guidance Director's License | Off Message

State Revokes Burlington Guidance Director's License


Mario Macias turns to speak with family members at a licensing hearing in December in Barre. - FILE: MOLLY WALSH
  • File: Molly Walsh
  • Mario Macias turns to speak with family members at a licensing hearing in December in Barre.
A state panel has revoked the license of embattled Burlington High School guidance director Mario Macias.

In a decision issued Thursday, the hearing panel concluded that Macias, who is on leave from his job, was guilty of three out of seven alleged licensing violations that were leveled at him last year.

He shouted at one employee, ridiculed another and "unreasonably impaired" colleagues' ability to perform their duties, which constituted misconduct, the panel determined.

Macias also showed incompetence and inability to perform the basic duties of his job, another violation, according to the panel. Macias further violated standards by inappropriately engaging in conversation with a student about the licensing charges against him, the panel found.

Macias had denied the licensing violations in a multiday hearing last year and portrayed the complaints as unfair and exaggerated.

The three-member panel was at least partially convinced by the arguments he and his lawyer put forth. For example, it did not find evidence that Macias failed to maintain a professional relationship with a student teacher/college student or that he deliberately falsified a student transcript so the student could graduate. The panel also did not find evidence that he failed to proctor an Advanced Placement test according to the rules and protocols set for the test.
Vermont Education Secretary Dan French issued a statement praising the process that led to the revocation.

“The decision in this case demonstrates the strengths of Vermont’s licensing investigations process, where protecting our students is balanced against due process and transparency,” French said. “I want to thank and commend the work of the licensing hearing panel for their careful deliberations and thank my staff at the Agency of Education for their diligent investigation.”

Macias has the right to appeal. His lawyer, Francisco Guzman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Meanwhile, a parent of one of the students who testified that Macias was not performing basic duties expressed relief at the decision.

“I'm just very glad there's accountability,” Burlington resident Rita Markley said Thursday.

Read the full decision below: