As former elected representatives of our school district, we have, during the past several months, been concerned about the direction of our current school board. Of particular importance is the loss/lack of vision for the greater needs of the District. Issues like the half-cent sales tax, the relocation and transition of Soda Creek Elementary School and its students, our faltering status in the statewide education community and a complete disregard for any long and short term strategic plans that had been put in place are being ignored in deference to long-standing, personal issues with our current and past superintendents.
In our view, the majority of our community saw the School Board's demand to see the administrative surveys the Superintendent had promised would be confidential as putting her in an unfair, no-win situation - bow to the unreasonable demands of her employers or betray the trust of the district's leadership team.
We believe Superintendent Howell has done her job professionally and well. Regardless, should the board decide to buy out her contract it would cost the district more than $300,000 (more if the Board attempts to terminate her agreement), and this potential disregard for district resources would engender an even greater outlay of funds in the inevitable recall process that would follow.
The time and energy the board has spent attacking Superintendent Howell and our former Superintendent Simms needs to stop now. The board needs to get back to preparing for the future of our children's education. Given the recent e-mail revelations and the seemingly constant turmoil he seems to bring to the current Board of Education, the first step that needs to happen is for Dr. DeVincentis to resign from the Board. The sooner this occurs the sooner our Community can get back to the business of "doing the right thing" and putting our children first.
The apology for his behavior that DeVincentis presented Saturday morning along with his unwillingness to resign his board position should be unacceptable to all of us who value a high level of credibility and professionalism in the people we elect to set policy for our excellent school system. When he states that there are "no words for the regret I feel about comments I made," what he really means is that he regrets that our community was allowed to actually see first-hand the other side of "Dr. D."
Please, do what is best for the community. Urge Dr. DeVincentis to resign. We have an outstanding school system and one board member should not be allowed to destroy it.