Each year I would dread the board chair and vice chair elections. Board members would start calling you right after Christmas trying to line up votes to be the leader of the pack. It usually would involve a large amount of pressure as to why you should cast your vote for a certain person. Thankfully I will not have to deal with that this year. This year the chair-vice chair elections will go a long way to establishing credibility. The Board has one chance to get it right this year and earn some of that credibility.
Let’s look at what has transpired up to now. The street network tells me that Ms. Edler has been holding meetings with the new board members at her house trying to assure that Ms. Edler is chair and Marshall Orson vice chair. Dr. Walker has sent out an email saying that he would like support for returning as chair. I have heard rumblings that Mr. Cunningham is also going to throw his hat in the ring. If any of these folks become chair or vice chair it will be a disaster for the Board.
Let’s examine why. None of those previously mentioned have any credibility. Some because they have not been to the first meeting yet and some because they have little or no leadership ability and one because he has been significantly tainted by the SACS report. There are only two people that have any street credibility in the county. They would be Nancy Jester and Dr. Pam Speaks. Either would make a great chair or vice chair. Election of these two folks would send the first signal to the state and SACS that the Board is attempting to right the ship.
Now what do you think? Do you believe the Board can put down personal feelings and contribute to the greater good? My gut feeling is NO. The jockeying for power has started amongst the new board members and a coalition of the old some time ago. You see it is still about power and ego. Power and ego must be sacrificed for the good of the system. It will take a great deal of maturity to reach that decision.
SACS has already cited the new members as being in the schools using their elected positions to set their expectations. Beware of this kind of behavior. Of course they were doing all of this before they even take office. It is also very clear that one person is taking the lead on how the coalition thinks. I have already been copied on some emails that say I agree with what he/she said. One member has almost shown that they have no original thoughts only the thoughts of a compatriot.
If this Board has the guts to pick Ms. Jester and Dr. Speaks it will say a great deal about their dedication to fixing the problems of our school system. It would be a great present to the people of DeKalb County. It is not about race. It is about competence and leadership.
Coming soon. My thoughts on the SACS report.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.