Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Listen to What the Fox C-6 Community Wants in a New Superintendent!

It was incredible to hear so many great comments from the Fox C-6 community at the Superintendent Search Workshop Tuesday September 2, 2014. Our community has a lot of talented and well spoken individuals.

The board workshop was an open forum discussion led by Mr. Brent Underwood who is leading our superintendent search from the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA). He is the former superintendent of Webster Groves. The open forum workshop was held to allow the community to voice what they are are looking for in the next Fox C-6 School District Superintendent.

Mr. Underwood spoke early on (17:44) that 30 people have requested applications for the superintendent's position. He also talked about the recent survey that was posted online for the community regarding the superintendent search. Your dissatisfaction with the survey was heard loud and clear. Everyone knows that all of the traits listed in the survey are very important to the community. You have until September 10th to fill out the online survey or a printed survey and submit your comments. So please do so and let your voice be heard. This is a community effort and it takes community involvement!

There were so many great comments form the community that I had no reason to speak. I highly recommend listening to what the Fox C-6 school board heard from the community. Mr. Scott Reed's comments received the largest applause from the audience. He did an excellent job of summing up so many of the issues in the district and concerns of the community. Mr. Reed's comments begin at 37min 35s into the audio. Public comments started at 16:25 into the audio.

I believe one of the best things that's happened in the Fox C-6 school district since May is that the community has been able to voice their concerns and the school board is listening to those concerns. In the past the school board was not running our board meetings, the superintendent was. Things are different now and the board is listening. The board has to because the community is outraged over what has been allowed to occur within our district over the last 9+ years.

For nearly the last decade, the majority of the Fox C-6 school board members seemed to believe that they worked for the superintendent rather than the community. Our school board member's lack of understanding of what their role was and who they represented is what led to the downfall of our district. The board was not very knowledgable or aware of many of our district's policies and regulations. Even our superintendent and many assistant superintendents were unaware or disregarded school district policies as well.

However, things have changed within the district and many believe that Fox is now moving in a positive direction.

This year will be remembered for decades to come as a major turning point in the Fox C-6 School District.

With the proper leadership, accountability and open communications with the parents and taxpayers in our school district, our community can begin working towards truly becoming a district of excellence and a district of character.

The students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators, school board and community must all work together in choosing the next leader for our school district. It will be the most important decision our school district makes for years to come. Our next school leader must practice what they preach!

After listening to the community at the meeting, the Fox C-6 school board members are now very aware of the community's desires and concerns in choosing the next superintendent for the Fox C-6 School District.

You can listen to the audio from the Open Forum Meeting by clicking on the link below. The audio recording is just over an hour long.

Not all of the Fox C-6 school board members were able to attend tonight's meeting. The following board members were present at the meeting:

Dave Palmer
Dan Kroupa
Vern Sullivan
Dawn Mullins
Cheryl Hermann

John Laughlin and Steve Holloway were unable to attend the meeting but will be able to listen to the audio from the meeting and review the notes taken during the meeting by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lorenzo Rizzi and Assistant Superintendent Todd Scott.

Fox's new CFO John Brazeal told me after the meeting that my Sunshine Requests and dissemination of that information has generated a lot more requests for data. Had our former superintendent been fully transparent rather than attempting to hide or make access to information difficult, we probably wouldn't have had to have a meeting like this in order to get community feedback.

Leah Thorsen of the St. Louis Post Dispatch published a story about the the meeting as well.

I always wonder if things would have changed years earlier if the media had reported about the District Wide Compliance Review from March 2010 rather than allowing the district to hide that information for years. That's what is referred to as Willful Blindness! The TED Talk about Willful Blindness is worth watching.