The Portsmouth School Board began trying to woo its superintendent Thursday with money and pledges to change.I suspect he's less concerned with the money and more concerned with the stress from the Board.
After a lively closed-door meeting most board members reached a tentative agreement to offer Superintendent David C. Stuckwisch a $17,000 base salary increase and a benefit expansion to stay in Portsmouth.
Some board members acknowledged that their bickering hasn’t helped the situation.No shit. Really? Almost two years ago I sought a position on the Board. During the interview process, I asked them, "In what ways do the members of the Board celebrate differences?" And the answer? A bold "Not well." As I noted on my web pages,
“It’s about the board,” said School Board Chairman James E. Bridgeford. “This board has to get its act together collectively.”
Well, that was direct... ;-)Let's just say, "I don't think they've come all that far in two years. And we're going to lose our superintendent and the bickering is going to kick in big time. And what will that bring us?
The interview ended there.
I would say this: The members of the Board were honest. I believed they mean well for the students of our City. They know themselves better than I might have imagined.
I would also say this: Clearly the fundamental building blocks for an excellent Board are in place. The question I ask is this: Will the Board roll up their sleeves and do the hard work which is necessary? The Board must find & live by common values, determine a shared purpose and end-in-mind, and celebrate differences and diversity. This will take work, but once we have done this, all things are possible.