I am speaking to the proposal to appoint Dr. Walkley tonight to the Superintendent position without going through a process. I understand what Bill [Zopf] is saying, but I personally feel the Board is acting irresponsibly to appoint a person to the Superintendent position without taking the proper steps. I questioned the appointment to the interim position without going through a process to canvas. I understood there was a “time crunch” and that the district would be without a person at that time so going against my better judgment I agreed; without seeing a resume or a recommendation from prior work experience. I still have not seen these items. We are not in the same position.
I understand the superintendent search has not been the best experience for the district or veteran board members based on past results. I ask that we evaluate these processes and adjust, not remove them completely.
I ask what information we are using to make this recommendation? We are making a recommendation based on our experiences as Board members, which is limited. We represent the community. The community has a voice! Have we heard from the administrators, teachers, parents and/or students? How can we proceed without gathering all of this important information from community stakeholders?
The public did not know about the proposed recommendation until the agenda was posted on Friday night. The school community found out a bit earlier through and email Friday afternoon. Neither stakeholder community had time to express their feelings about the recommendation.
I feel we are blindsiding the public and the school community. How is a decision going to maintain the confidence of the community in the Board and the district when the district’s history with this position speaks for itself?
We are now appointing a person to this position without exhausting a process. As a community member I have tried to understand every aspect of the school the school system and the way we came to this recommendation follows no systemic approach. We did not ascertain the community’s opinions and desires with respect to this appointment.
The second concern I have is the length of the contract. The contract is for three years four months. March 1, 2015 – June 30, 2018. I know the last two superintendents had three year contracts and we needed to settle after a year of service, which created a financial burden for the district among other concerns. Why not make it a one year four month contract, or a two year four month contract? I am expressing my concerns at this time as I feel we are making a rash decision without having all of the important information. What is the rush to appoint at this time? We are not in the same position as we were at the beginning of the school year. Why not gather all of the information before making this decision. The interim contract is for a year, which ends at the end of July. If we started this process now we would have sufficient amount of time to go through the entire process.
I am asking the Board of Ed members to explain their point of view and to justify how they came to this decision so the community has a full and complete understanding of the decision being made. Some might say the Board has done its due diligence by evaluating the “body of work” that has been done while in the interim position. If this is the rationale I would ask my fellow board members what they are referring to with regard to the “body of work?”
Less than three seconds following this statement and with no response to Mr. White’s questions or concerns the Beacon Board of Ed. President called for a vote. Mr. White was the only member to vote “no” on the immediate appointment.