Opinion: Board leader not a good choice
Editor’s note: The writer, who was elected in March to the board that oversees the Mary Hogan Elementary School, is referring to a story on his resignation from the ID-4 School Board and comments in the story from a written statement by board chair Ruth Hardy.
Regarding your story in the May 5 edition of the Addison Independent:
I never once indicated that I could not work with the other members of the board or that I had any real problem with the either the principal of the school or the superintendent as indicated by Mrs. Ruth Hardy.
I met Mrs. Hardy for coffee before the election. She wanted to set the agenda straight, if in fact I was elected. I accepted the invitation although all that I mentioned it to said to avoid her. I wanted to hear what she had to say as it sounded like she knew that she would be again elected the chairperson as her time as chairman would end with the election. She first indicated that she ran a quick and efficient meeting and that she called the shots by designing the agenda. Our mission will be harmonious; we will not discuss different sides of an issue. I indicated that this would not work for me, as I believe the board is the one to discuss issues like why are the results of the NECAP in mathematics so bad.
When I was elected I received a set of materials from the Vermont School Board Association. It says, and I quote:
“The Essential Role of the School Boards:
“The school board is the Board of Trustees for education on behalf of the community. It is entrusted with assuring that the young people of the community receive a high quality education and that taxpayers receive an excellent return on their investment.”
Under a section titled “Monitor progress toward the vision” it indicates the following”
“The board is accountable to the community for outcomes. It needs to decide on the indicators that need to be monitored on a regular basis, including student outcomes. How will you measure overall success in the achievement of the vision that has been established? How will you know the system is operating appropriately?”
In my desire to run I indicated that I wanted to see an improvement in the mathematics program and that monies allocated would be fair for those working at the school, those attending the school and those paying for the school.
Her comments to me were as follows. We are to be interested in those thing outside the school not those thing inside the school. We hire administrators to oversee what goes on in the school. We need to concentrate on things like playgrounds, passages to school either by bus, car or walking, which includes arriving on bikes. I guess she forgot to read the responsibilities of a board member.
I have no problem whatsoever with the five other members of the board. I believe that Dr. Peter Burrows is a real find for this area. Mr. Buzzell is the perfect man for the job of principal of the school. I wrote an article for the Eagle about two weeks ago and stated this very clearly.
I do, however, have a real problem with Mrs. Ruth Hardy. She needs to be removed from the chairmanship of the ID-4 board and then recalled from the board altogether.
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