Friday, June 17, 2011

Hamilton County School Board and 2011 Superintendent

So, the Hamilton County school board has appointed an interim superintendent who wants the job on a more permanent basis.  Not anything earth shattering here.

So, the Hamilton County school board wants to be able to hire a superintendent with only 15 days notice and without doing any type of search: national or regional.  While possibly not the best way to search for a new superintendent, that is the system I grew up with in Kansas.

In fact, it was not unusual for a school system in one county to hire a good leader principal in another county as superintendent. That always added fuel to the football rivalry. 

And I don't recall a public notice ever going out before anything liked this happened.

So, it finally happened in 2011.  I wondered how long it would take for people to realize that the school board could appoint a local school leader as superintendent, or even a rising star school leader from Bradley, or Dade, or Walker, or Marion counties.  And learned that person can be signed to a four-year contract or more.

Are there people outside our region who can be Hamilton County school superintendent?  Of course there are.  That should never be forgotten.  But local leaders have an important value to the people of this county and area.  And that has been forgotten.

The unfortunate thing is how all of this happened.  There wasn't any collusion among five voting members of the school board?  It sure seemed that way.  There wasn't any steamrolling of this through the board ignoring the concerns of those not voting in the majority?  It sure seemed that way.  This can not be a proud moment of how this was done for the five school board members who supported these changes. 

And how it was done could lead to ramifications down the road.  Will districts 8 and 4 ever collaborate on an educational issue during this superintendent's term? If not, what ideas will never be hatched from this never-to-be collaboration? 

In physics, there is an opposite reaction to an action.  The same is true on a school board, whether it is now or in the next decade.