Sunday, January 23, 2005

My neighbor returns from Davenport, Iowa

This evening, David and Nancy Stuckwisch returned home, arriving as we were pulling out to celebrate Andrew's 13th birthday at Kyoto Steakhouse. I waved as we drove past; he looked tired. And no wonder. The Portsmouth School Board has been putting the press on him, and he's just back from a full interview in Davenport.
The Portsmouth School Board began trying to woo its superintendent Thursday with money and pledges to change.

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.
I suspect he's less concerned with the money and more concerned with the stress from the Board.
Some board members acknowledged that their bickering hasn’t helped the situation.

“It’s about the board,” said School Board Chairman James E. Bridgeford. “This board has to get its act together collectively.”
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,
Well, that was direct... ;-)

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.
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?

No comments:

Post a Comment