So I have been hearing a lot of different things over the last couple of days. We are truly in a unique and difficult situation. But there are two things I would like input on from all of you (between now and the end of next week).
First, there seems to be some hope that Dr. Enfield wants to be wooed. Many out there wanted her to stay and still hope that might be the case. She has said she is firm on her decision but who knows? Is there something that could be done to change her mind? I know for certain the Alliance is working on it. There may be others and that's fine. If you feel that way, write the Board and urge them to get on it.
But I am tending to take her at her word so I'm moving on.
I am now wrestling with the superintendent search versus an interim superintendent.
I would like to see an internal interim superintendent. It would have to be a person who knows the district and who is trusted by many in the district, both at schools and at headquarters.
Because one huge issue here is trust. We as parents and community would like to trust our superintendent but it is the people that he/she guides that need to feel they can trust their boss. They need to believe that person has a valid plan, will take input and just as no one wants the superintendent to micromanaged, doesn't want a superintendent micromanaging their professional lives.
The churn we have all felt has been doubly felt by those who work for the district. Imagine what it must of felt from the inside of JSCEE when MGJ swept in and brought her own people (not hired new people, brought new people). She was authoritarian to all and secretive. That did not breed trust.
Many people at JSCEE may have known or heard about Silas Potter but like any good soldier, kept their heads down and did their own work believing/hoping that the leadership would take care of that problem.
I think that happens a lot at JSCEE - keep your head down and do your best work in spite of who works at the top.
I think there are may be a few there who view the Board a major roadblock to what they believe is the right way to get to better outcomes but I think most welcome them as another set of eyes and ears. It's protection for their own work.
So imagine working like this - I think that just as we all hope for the best, those who work there do as well.
That's why we need trust and a knowledge base of this district more than any other qualifications right now. Because we have great people like Pegi McEvoy, Bob Boesche, Noel Treat and Paul Apostle and others who are helping to right this ship. They all need our support.
It must be a lonely time in our district. The failures of management over the last 10 years are continuing to take their toil. Teachers are under attack, we can't seem to get a handle on curriculum, we have mismanaged our facilities, managed to miss signs about growing capacity issues and more.
And yet, we ALL know successes. We are investing our children's education to these schools. We are investing our resources and time to these schools. Our district has many kinds of innovation that, in other states, only come from having charter schools. We have signs of excellence everywhere.
This next year or two is going to be absolutely vital to our district. The change in the Board makeup is going to allow more nuance and balanced discussion about what we do. But I know that no one on that Board is looking for massive change. Kellie LaRue is right; changing direction in a district is like turning a tanker. You can't do it on a dime - it takes time. But you better make sure it's the direction you want.
So I urge you to tell the Board that we need an internal interim superintendent. We do this for our staff because they need that security and we need that trust that will come with a known quantity.
We are the cusp of something great. I believe we can be a great district - I truly do. But we need to get away from what Dorothy Neville calls "costly distractions" and support our staff across the board. Everyone needs a pat on the back for the hard work they do.
Urge the Board to look within. There are answers there. If your wish is to persuade Dr. Enfield to stay, do that.
But do not remain silent and let the Board stew by themselves. It's just too important a decision.