If I was one of the School Committee members at this time, I would have voted for Stacey Scott, Ed.D. In point of fact he did a marvelous job on his interview, I thought and I was at his interview. I listened to the other two from the comfort of my home, but I felt that his knowledge of his subject was so far superior to the others that I thought that they had no choice but to vote for him. Most School Committee members may disagree with me on this take.
There were quite a few points that he made that I thought were good. For instance, during the interview questioning of individual members of the School Committee he said that he was, “…wanting to visualize the voices of the community. The School Committee should be his back-up,” he said. “They should act as my support. I am a good planner, I love to plan.” Dr. Scott, experiences in Dracut notwithstanding, was, in my opinion, the best interviewer and the best prepared. He deserved one vote, anyway. To be honest I would have been that one vote. I liked his diversity, his message, and his style. I do decry his premature leaving of the Dracut superintendency, but I have to believe that he probably had fairly solid reasons for it.
Each interview was an hour and forty-five minutes. I had to watch the last two on television, and I praise the members of the School Committee for their determination to go through the one hour and forty five minute sessions that happened three times. I felt, as did the School Committee that Dr. Boyd was well-prepared, perhaps too much seeing as how he crashed the School Committee meeting on the previous Wednesday. It is just personal pique, but I believe that once you get your interview, that you stay away from the members until you have your final one hour and forty-five minute chance. Instead of being viewed as a man with different tastes, he was treated like a conquering hero in that meeting. That puzzled me. The meetings of the School Committee are often in Executive Session, but in this case the regular meeting was wide opened for a studied disruption which was probably as innocent as his effort(s) could have been.
So, that is my take on the interviews. After the very good interviews by the first two interviewees, the third person was good but in my opinion was swimming in the wrong pool and was dismissed; much as Dr. Scott was dismissed by the subsequent unanimous vote. A friend of mine asked me how the Committee picked three candidates with varieated weak spots, which he dismissed as being a sign of the times. We do not necessarily expect our candidates to be strong. Sometimes, just being there is enough. We make fun of their inconsistencies, but we do not really expect them to measure up. That is the America we have forged for ourselves currently.
I have found that running for the School Committee, is challenging and seldomly boring. In my traversing the city’s streets, I have received a lot of “Good lucks” but not one negative thusfar. I know that is bound to change, but for right now, it is personally gratifying. I will not be able to complete all of the streets that I want to but I have to say that Belvidere has been very satisfying.
Anyway, I want people to understand where I am coming from, and that is that I am very glad that this School Committee took the time to follow-up an embarassing cessation of one Superintendent’s contract with a desire to make sure that such a pattern does not happen again. I hope that the new Superintendent does not leave too soon, as some feel is his wont. I want this person to be hardworking, interested in our system and our unique heritage, and able to direct with strongness and vigor, our daily turmoils. He should be able to work with the School Committee. And, he should be able to work with the city, Maintenance of effort would be equally important. What most people to not realize is that the School Committee now has one major job, they are the people who hire and fire the Superintendent. We have seen them do one, it is now our job to see them do the other.
I think that they have. I hope that I do not have the job of firing or hiring a new Superintendent. This time, I believe that almost all of us want this Superintendent to be good. We can hope. More than that, we can help. We can get involved with our children’s education by taking them to sporting events, academic events, and other things too numerous to mention.
I hope to see many of you at School Committee meetings. Attorney Greenhalge equated his years with the School Committee in the past as a healthy effort which mirrored his years as Governor of the Commonwealth. If a man who was Governor can do that, we can too.