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Friday, December 02, 2011

New School Board

Here's a photo of the newly-constituted School Board - the men bookend the women. 

It was a nice (and nearly full) swearing-in ceremony.   All were sworn in by the person of their choice and then each gave a short speech.  There were a few oddities, though.

One, if you took the names off the speeches and then handed them to me, I would have known who wrote what.

Two, as Dorothy Neville pointed out elsewhere, Harium asked Principal John Miner of Thorton Creek to swear him in.  And, Principal Miner went out of his way to say what great public servant Harium is.   Almost as if Harium's victory at the polls wasn't enough. 

Three, a bit of a tone set.   Michael DeBell, in his role as Board VP, was master of ceremonies and jokingly warned Sharon and Marty it was the start of many speeches to come.  Both Marty and Sharon read their speeches versus Harium and Sherry who did not. 

Sharon came out the strongest and talked about "change for the better."  I think she was trying to make the point that voters did vote for some change and that her mandate is to make things better (and not try to change anything just for change's sake). 

Harium seemed a little contemplative and spoke of being honored for his "good work." 

Sherry was all business, very Boeing-professional and surprised me by saying how the Board does governance and they shouldn't micro-manage the district.  Has the Board been micro-managing the district the last four years?  Did I miss something because it certainly didn't look or feel that way.  I'm not sure who that remark was directed to in the audience. 

Marty was the eager newcomer and was careful to thank the groups that helped her win victory.

16 comments:

mirmac1 said...

I LIKE that picture : )

Speechless said...

I like that picture too, and I can't avoid to think that now that there is more "girl power", that we might see more tuning in with reality.

Carol Simmons said...

What I noticed was the positive climate in the room. The atmosphere was one of joy and hope.

anonymous said...

Harium and John Miner go way back. Harium was chair of the Site Counsel at AEII/Thornton Creek and John Miner was the principal.

eyes open

Catherine said...

I hope they'll reshoot that photo with some care. I have concerns about the body language, and the positioning of members. The underlying message reads unhappy, and neither collaborative, nor partners of equitable standing. Yeah, I know they're smiling, but I read their body language as not.

Anonymous said...

Harium is a deluded windbag. He thinks he got back in on good work? He got back in by playing the I am diversity race card. As a member of a diverse community I know of what I speak . I can't overstate as how disapointed involved parents in this part of town are in his re-election.

We exspect him to do nothing again for us and have already contacted Buetow who is a walker not a talker to run again in four years. We now know to start earlier with support and we will.

SE MOM

Christina said...

In the Oath of Office comments by new and returning directors, I liked that Sharon Peaslee mentioned the ten-year turnaround case of Finland, taking a long-range view and citing actual improvements.

And it was gratifying to hear that school board directors are aware that the schools improve and thrive when they receive help. I hope everyone who does offer and can help by way of practical solutions (e.g. identifying scrip opportunities, offering afterschool programs, tutoring) is responded to, encouraged and appreciated.

Anonymous said...

after all the betrayals to the community and all the worshiping at the Gates of Glory, Harium and Sherry ... spoke.

whatever.

Jack Whelan said...

I took Sherry's comment about micromanaging to mean that the board, especially the newbies, should remain passive and let the "professionals" lead. 'Micromanaging' is code for 'activism' of the neighborhood variety.

Jan said...

Jack -- I took it the same dismaying way. It is so discouraging. Every time I think maybe Sherrie will man up and actually do her job (govern the District), she pulls something like this that makes me think she is either less intelligent (or less principled) than I had hoped. "Micromanagement" has not been the problem the past 4 years 9(though it would be a problem, if it ever happened). Lack of governance by the Board has been the problem.

Jan said...

Oh -- lack of governance COUPLED with selection (and retention) by the Board of truly horrible, horrible management (MGJ and Don Kennedy). You actually CAN get away with being an AWOL board, in some cases, if you have great managment. That was not the case here.

someone said...

'Micromanaging' is code for 'activism' of the neighborhood variety. - interesting - a premptive strike across the bow? I'm betting, if that is her intention, that the "newbies" are smart enough to not play that particular game - management, either micro OR macro is desperately needed - as Jan points out, one can back off a bit if things are on track, but that's hardly been the case.

Noam said...

Yeah, Jack. Thats what Sherry learned from her mentor: Cheryl Chow.

That appears to be the only institutional memory the incunbents have.

Whats new?

dan dempsey said...

What is this governance vs micromanagement that Sherry sees?

Look at her voting pattern and failure to respond when questions are raised about Action Reports.

#1... When was the legally required careful review of all other options to TFA conducted?

Neither Enfield nor any Board member would answer that question .... WAC 181-79A-231 is very clear.

The Board kept authorizing Enfield's requests to OSPI for conditional certificates for TFA members. YES votes from all except Betty Patu.

#2... The required review was never conducted and the Board repeatedly ignored all questions about the non-existent yet claimed review.

#3... Anything other than rubber-stamping is apparently "Micro-management" in Ms. Carr's view.

=====
Sherry's statement indicates an apparent desire for a continuation of the "Gang of Four" style oligarchy.

I'll believe we actually have something different...... when the board decides to withdraw from the TFA contract.

a: Search for a (non-interim) Superintendent
b: Withdraw from TFA

Currently Enfield is testing to see if anyone has the courage to force her off of her extreme Ed reform agenda.... clearly Sherry is too busy cheerleading too undertake such action.

Jack Whelan said...

We can learn a lot from San Diego; I'd argue there ahead of us on the learning curve by three or four years, and it will be interesting to see how they manage in the near future. One thing it has going for it is a healthy, relationship between its board and superintendent in which the board is an active, dynamic, and the superintendent plays an "executive" role. In other words, the board proactively sets the agenda in a crisis situation, and the superintendent executes it. (http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/2011/11/will_san_diegos_public_schools.html)

My take on Sherry is that she represents the interests of those who want a weak board so the so-called downtown professionals can implement their agenda with as little interference from pesky neighborhood types as possible.

Steve and Peter were willing accomplices in this "professional" agenda, and we're lucky that we have Marty and Sharon in there to replace them.

But Sherry announced loud an clear in her speech the other day that, sure, she'lll listen to the neighborhood types, but when push comes to shove, she'll do what she's always done--what the "professionals" tell her. That was her m.o. before, and she unapologetically announced that will be her m.o. going forward.

As Dan points out, we've seen how well that's worked for us.

KG said...

Sherry Carr said inn her speech that the district was fiscally responsible. Should we call her Pinnochio Carr.