April 2022’s School Board meeting will be held Thursday, April 14th at 7PM at the School’s administration building. 

The 2022-2023 District budget is to be presented at this meeting, it does not appear there is a vote intended on accepting that budget.

March meeting recap!

This meeting took place March 17th, 2 weeks after a Special Board Meeting to receive presentations from potential partners in our District’s Superintendent Search.

3 Companies presented, some discussion was had, and the Board tabled the decision to allow for some due diligence, which apparently did not sit well with some in our community. A vote attempt to award the contract to Pennsylvania School Board Association was voted down.

Highlighted Quotations from Public Comment: 

Susan Donnally– “The Administration, Teachers, and Students need this Board to focus on and actually take action on what should be the only thing on your agenda right now, making this School somewhere for students to learn in a safe environment uninhibited by racial bullying. At the March 1st Special Board meeting a Board Member mentioned the presence of a community divide. There is one. And you have the ability to help close it by making the right decisions on behalf of the students without succumbing to outside pressures. Part of your job is to listen to the Community, but if one community member says they want one thing and another one says they want something else, how do you, a Board Member who is representing all students, make the right decision? Are you making the right decision by listening to the community if you decide based solely on the input of a small minority from our community who regularly show up to voice their opinions here?”…. “ You should most certainly use the comments from the community as one data point, but you are derelict in your duty if you are trying to make decisions based solely on comments from just a few members of the community. I’ve been to enough Board Meetings here to know that you often see the same faces, hear the same voices, and opinions month after month. The small number of individuals who regularly show up here does not provide a wide enough range of representation on which to base decisions.”

Coalition Note: Our representation is being noticed, it is effective, and we must continue. Keep up the good work. 

Liana Feeser – “ Perspective. We have been failing our biggest stakeholders for a long time now. We’ve let politics and ego drive our discourse for too long, rather than a desire to make the best possible decisions that allow our teachers to teach and our students to thrive. Instead of focusing on being right, focus on doing the right thing. Instead of being driven by politics, be inspired by the things that link us together. Instead of defending bad behavior, seek to understand how to do better. Stand up for the marginalized and the disillusioned. Reject the words of those who speak only in hate and judgment. Embrace the notion that differing opinions can work together to make stronger decisions.”

Samantha Cole– “There are certain qualities and behaviors that are associated with successful leadership. Business experts have asserted that these include deciding with speed and conviction, and engaging for impact. I’d like to touch on both of those as it applies to the Superintendent Search and recent trends in Board Meetings. ….The Revised Health and Safety Plan was painstakingly reviewed line by line in a previous meeting. And that the same Board Member who made that motion voted against the amendment anyway. However, in that meeting, a handful of Public Commenters were able to stand up and say their piece. We have had meetings about a Logo that was previously retired. Students spoke about racism and daily bullying in our schools. And certain Board Members instead chose to raise that they don’t like the feeling when the word racist is used. Because they are offended by the word but not bothered by the act, and address nothing. But again, a handful of community members were able to proudly don their retired logo shirts and say their piece. And again, nothing of value happened. The search for a Superintendent cannot begin because in spite of a Special Board Meeting held for the purpose of deciding on a search firm, again nothing happened. But again, a handful of community members were able to stand up and say their piece. Twice. The recent need to constantly drag out endless discussions and delay votes due to a supposed lack of preparedness several months into an elected position strongly indicates that dragging things out, while accomplishing nothing, is exactly the point.”…. “On the topic of the Superintendent Search, I have serious concerns about the confidentiality of candidates , and I question why the Board is entertaining again a small handful of unelected community members’ opinions on a job that is not public office.’

Coalition Note: Refer further down to President Schefter’s rebuttal to some of Mrs. Cole’s direct quotes here. Several times Samantha remarked on the general public being “allowed to speak.” Ironic that she chose to engage in Public Comment to vent this frustration. 

David Leabhart– Presented information on the number of drivers who are not stopping for bus flashing red lights, stressed the need to educate drivers. 

Deb Kalina – “I’d like to talk about the board’s March 1 personnel and policy meeting regarding the superintendent search, specifically three concerns raised repeatedly by some board members that require clarity — the need to process, robust community involvement, and the right cultural fit.” ….”Never once during my time on the school board, or 15 years of volunteering in this district, have I heard board members wax on about being new or needing more time to process information, especially decisions that should be an obvious call and not require weeks to unpack and endless public debate. For most of us watching the presentations March 1 it was clear PSBA is the best choice for the largest, most diverse pool of qualified candidates.

I was disappointed our board president voted against the motion for PSBA, only to say afterward that he would be voting for PSBA. The district lost two weeks on its search to appease some grandstanding board members, who will likely vote against PSBA just to be contrary.”

This board oversees an annual budget of about $60 million, a staff of over 400, and more than 3,000 students in five schools. Board members who cannot come prepared to confidently and productively vote on the district’s business are not prepared to serve.

I can say with great certainty that some of the board’s most recent inductees — Mrs. Dauberman, Mrs. Jarvis, and Mrs. Weaver Watts — were ready to serve on day one, as confident voting members. Keep up the good work.

But some members let us know they were not ready to serve during the December reorganization meeting, as we sat through the uncomfortable silence of watching them not readily volunteer to serve on committees, which is the best way to learn what is happening in the district.

Robust community involvement was another phrase some board members used repeatedly, which I fully support. But for me, that has always meant getting families involved in what’s happening in our schools, like the great presentation we had with the Columbine school-shooting survivor Craig Scott, and the two upcoming discussions on diversity and equity April 26 and social media and our youth May 23. Volunteering in our district, supporting our teachers and students in the classroom that is what robust community involvement means, not hours of public comment from folks opining their personal opinions.

One board member mentioned the need for more focus groups and surveys to ensure the community is involved in district decision-making. Had she volunteered to serve on a variety of district committees, she would see that regularly happens, as our committees always seek and include parents and the community. As a former PTO president at Friendship, I can tell you our schools beg for robust community involvement.

Finally, some members stressed the need for the “right cultural fit” for the next superintendent. I can surmise how most directors on this board view the culture in our district, as I’ve seen and heard about their servant leadership here over the years. But I’m not sure how a few would define that.

One suggested at the March 1 meeting that the superintendent’s search include candidates outside of public education. Another stated to me at the polls on primary day last May that she was running for school board to ensure her Christian values were represented. And another reveals his way of thinking in dehumanizing FB posts that refer to Admiral Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender woman serving our country as Assistant Secretary for Health, as “it”.

Unhappy with decisions regarding masks and the mascot, some members came on this board with agendas, not a desire to serve a district they love or have been actively involved in for years. Perhaps that is why they are having trouble processing things to fit their narratives.

Serving on school board is not about the personal opinions, beliefs or political party affiliations of any individual board members.

It’s about being fair arbiters of the information before you, to make the best decisions for all.”

Coalition Note: Refer further down to President Schefter’s rebuttal to direct quotes made by Deb Kalina. Deb ran way over her allotted time and was asked several times to stop, but she kept on reading and was able to finish her piece in its entirety. Additionally, she is particularly bothered by Coalition Members giving their views during Public Comment. Keep up the good work!

Samuel Piercy – thanked Dr. Lemmon, urged the board to move on from stereotypes, and suggested that a confidential superintendent search would produce more and better qualified candidates. He also commented on NAGA that they couldn’t be trusted because they use Gmail and not  “ a secure email account.” He also commented that he did not believe it to be prudent for the Board to allow Public Comments outside of the Public Comment timeslot. 

Coalition Note: Mr. Piercy then proceeded after Public Comment was finished to try to engage with the Board, despite his own comments that this was not good policy. He vocalized that he was filing a “Right To Know.” President Schefter did not allow him to raise his concerns or have his questions answered. Jim Holley also told him “No.” 

Sharon Leitch –  “ Each of you were elected to do the job of a School Board Director. The expectation of one elected to Public Office is that you come prepared, ready to ask questions, and ready to make decisions”…. “The inability to drive resolution by this Board over the last few meetings is embarrassing. Spending four nights, because that’s what it took to get through the last Board Meeting, and two nights to get through the Special Board Meeting, illustrates just how unprepared this Board is to take action. Dredging up fully vetted past decisions, nit picking line by line The Health and Safety Plan only to vote against it, and being ill prepared and non-committal to a decision during the last Special Board Meeting displays a lack of competence. Let me be clear, I don’t disagree that certain decisions require deliberations…. “ but seriously, the time spent agonizing over every single decision, including the previous and thoroughly vetted Logo retirement, blowing past your own student representative’s curfew, to the monologuing of the search firm proposals show an inability to think reasonably on your own or as a group. Your lack of leadership will be obvious to any well prepared candidate who will watch these meetings at any time…. “ The impression of those watching was that you were ill prepared to interview the search firm. Do your homework”…. “It has become readily apparent that in person public ranting is your preferred way of communication.”… “ But when there is ample Q and A time, such as there was after the three organizations presented, and there was clearly a viable candidate, then make a decision. And not a decision to have indecision. Given the three proposals there was a workable search firm. A very viable one. To come away with a stalemate was ridiculous. I do want to thank the subset of Board Members who did come prepared. And were trying to drive resolution.”

Coalition Note: Please refer to President Schefters rebuttal to direct quotes Mrs. Leitch made here. Also note she was thanking the Board Members in the previous meeting who did not ask any questions and did not engage in any dialogue but wanted to vote anyway. 

Nathan Henkel – “ So I’m glad to hear that some of those who originally allowed themselves to become distracted by a Logo, are now, as I did on March 1st, calling on the Administration to take effectual action against  racist bullying in the District. So, welcome to the party, pal. Additionally, I’m glad to hear there is action to be taken to address in a remedial fashion the learning loss, some of which could have been prevented by a more circumspect policy and less contentious and more effective policy such as ventilation and filtration rather than masks. But, once again, those who seek a contentious solution had their way. And THEY are the minority in our community. Election day showed that. Even if they like to call US a minority. 

I’ll get to the superintendent search in a bit, but first I have a backlog of things to address. I would like to start by stating how much I appreciated the January board meeting. It really felt like the board was listening. A proposal that *could not actually be implemented* and would have created confusion was repaired into something that could work. The changes weren’t what I would have written, but still, it was a substantial improvement. 

I know at least one commenter from February’s meeting did not appreciate your efforts, but that just confirms to me that political agenda is all that matters to some people.

I was less satisfied with the February and March meetings. Valid concerns were glibly dismissed. The context of past events was ignored or minimized. Glares and mocking were given (and, for our part, exuberantly accepted), but adequate responses were not.

We only get 5 minutes at a time, so when my wife pointed out that a report produced by a school *fabricated* the historical facts to fit a narrative, the implication was that other elements of the process may not have been entirely fair in reaching its highly motivated conclusion. She, and others, did note the extremely limited contact with NAGA. Oh and I’d like to point out something really quickly. I worked for a contractor that contracted for the NSA and CIA. They used GMAIL. But, like I said, we only get 5 minutes. Frankly I thought she did a pretty good job of blowing some holes in it in the time given. We hoped that by showing you that it was flawed, that you would do the work of taking a second look. I would hope that a *school* of all things would care about hosting a report with fabricated history on its website, as is the case now. But if you don’t, we can do this 5 minutes at a time. At least until the next election.

Speaking of NAGA, I just have to come back to this. According to various speakers both on and off the board, NAGA is impossible to find anything about (I mean, I guess so, if you search for them on YouTube instead of, oh, I don’t know, going to their website). 

But ALSO they are probably…um…”very very bad” (with no evidence to support this claim, and in fact these two claims in some sense contradict each other). Of course, in reality, this shadowy organization has a website that can be found in about a minute of using GOOGLE (instead of YouTube) and has presiding officers that can be reached anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours at the outside. It feels like NAGA was included as a reference in order to give the appearance of seeking multiple perspectives, but really, multiple perspectives were not wanted.

Of course, now that a former board member (and I use the term “former” somewhat loosely) is harassing NAGA it may no longer be worth the hassle to them to deal with one local small town school district. But that just shows to me how corrupt this process was and is. The more desperate the activists become, the more we understand that we are pulling at the right thread. Stay desperate, my friends.

So, now I come to the superintendent search process. In February this board heard three marketing presentations. Most on the board took no, or very little opportunity to ask questions in the very short time given. Some board members indicated an understanding that this was an important part of the process, while others did not, because ultimately, the *board* would select the superintendent. I wish I could say that the latter was merely a foolish statement, but I believe it is actually worse than foolish. It’s careless. The *number one* thing we’ve asked for is community involvement, and, even in the short presentation and question time available, each organization addressed, in a very cursory manner, how they would involve the community. Even these short, cursory answers *differed*, and it is expected that the differences in the details would be even greater.

I hope that each of you used the time you were given to contact these organizations and ask both your own questions, and questions driven by the community input so far. I hope you contacted school districts they’ve worked with to understand how the community was involved in those searches. I look forward to hearing the results of your research before you vote. The community is listening…. So I want to hear the results of your research tonight.”

Coalition Note: Several Board Members: Marylee Hall, Samantha Hall, Mike Wolford, Elizabeth Dauberman, President Schefter, and James Holley did offer up their thought process and research in response it would seem to this public comment. 

Jen Henkel – Shared that the logo transition committee should address purpose, representation, timeframe, and logistics, and thanked the board for the new EMT course being offered at SHS.

Joe Wilson – Shared his concerns over staffing and the substitute shortage. “We cannot allow this to continue. Our classes are being split up because we don’t have enough substitutes. It happened to both of my kids this week. That does not contribute to a very good learning environment. Maybe we aren’t making ourselves attractive enough to get substitutes as a District. Maybe, there is a way for a community based committee to help the administration understand and solve chronic shortages…. Lack of discipline in our schools, I know racism has been tossed around…that’s unacceptable…ever. Low substitute pay. You know we are still struggling to be a good employer to our teachers. We can’t be a good educator for  our children if we are not providing the quality of environment for our teachers to excel. Volunteers can help. I know a lot of parents are trying to step up and volunteer at the schools. Which is great. But not everyone has time to contribute. We have to find out why people are leaving. We must try differently than what we have been doing because it’s not working. Get creative. I’d love to help brainstorm solutions for this, I just need an avenue to do it. Maybe we hire subs directly rather than contracting that service out and where we are competing with other Districts on a daily basis for people.

I know I previously brought up that Elementary isn’t actually getting letter grades anymore. I’ve been talking to the Assistant Principal at Shrewsbury about that and I’m looking forward to seeing some changes there. 

Lastly on the Superintendent search I just need to touch on this. You don’t need a long list of candidates, you need a short list of vetted quality candidates. Its not always the best to have a large pool if you are looking at hiring people. It’s best to have well qualified people in a short list. And just to touch on the procurement side of this, this is a government entity. A government entity has rules for a lot of this stuff, and I don’t know whether it applies to this school or not but getting three proposals, choosing who you are going to have present, and then usually the deliberations does not happen with one of those presenters sitting in the front row after listening to the two other presenters. That’s normally not how business is done. I don’t think it was done that way for the School Expansion Project. We didn’t hear three different proposals and then vote on it that night. I think the Superintendent Selection is probably the most important decision I see coming out of this Board in the entire time I have been here….”

Bob Betz– Thanked the Administration in the Middle School for enforcing the policy on the use of electronic devices in school. In response to the previous Public comments about the Superintendent selection process “ You know making decisions on the fly in the BoardRoom, it’s not always the correct answer. It may be the correct answer, and most of you may be very well educated on what firms you want to use and why… but the community at large is not privy to that information. So it would go along way as we have said many times, to listen to the concerns of the community. We obviously encourage it, and it would give us the sense that you hear us and take the ability to actually reflect on the thoughts that are being presented before making a decision. Listening to the thoughts of the community are diverse. Listening to diverse thoughts creates diverse responses. And it gives us all the ability to see through the eyes of those who we do not share much in common with. And Finally, on the topic of Christianity making someone unfit to hold public office, I will encourage everyone to do a little history reading today, or tonight. This country was founded by men of faith. By Christians. And the reason that we have the ability to stand here and to disagree publicly is because of the sacrifices of those leaders who started this country. Who were all escaping religious persecution. So let’s keep that in mind the next time we want to start throwing jabs at the faith of those on the Board. 

Coalition Note: Various Board Members as noted above did respond to Bob Betz’s call for transparency and research. They offered their thought processes and reasons. The last part of Bob’s comment was in reference to Deb Kalina’s jab at Marylee Hall’s faith. 

Bill Hall –  thanked Dr. Lemmon, and thanked Susan Green and her staff for the thorough and fiscally responsible budget presentation at the Budget and Finance meeting on March 15.

Committee Report – Education

Establishment of Transition Committee Regarding District Logo

The Board of Education to consider approval of the establishment of an advisory transition committee regarding the District logo with a limited scope of how to retire existing items with the logo on them.

There was debate concerning the function and purpose of the Transition Committee. Some Board members (Bruce Bauman, Samantha Hall, Marylee Hall, Mike Wolford) were under the impression the Transition Committee included discussions about the direction of the new/old Warrior Logo. Other Board members thought the Committee was proposed to handle donated items that contained the Old Warrior Head Logo. Public Comment raised questions about purpose and representation. 

President Schefter framed the discussion in terms of the donated Old Logo items. He recommended it should be an Advisory Committee instead of a Board Committee. “I think there should be people on the Committee who were in favor of retiring the Logo and I think there should be people on the Committee who wanted to keep the Logo. That just makes sense to have that diversity of perspective on the committee.” 

Bruce Bauman made it clear he did not think the Alumni were properly represented last time. “ One group you probably implied but you didn’t mention by name are the Alumni. I served on the Diversity Committee that came up with the original report and just my opinion, there was very little Alumni representation there. And the majority of that Committee did not have the perspective of what the Warrior Head meant to the Alumni. And if you look at the emails that we received on this subject. Man,the overwhelming majority were from Alumni. For whatever reason, in my mind, the rest of us have a secondary stake in this compared to the students because it’s their logo and it’s the one they have to deal with. And probably by saying this I’m asking for another flood of emails but I think we only received two or three emails from students in this last go round.”

Coalition Note: If you refer back to the February 17, 2022 meeting, President Schefter remarked that no one from the old board took issue with the process of the retirement of the Old Logo. Bruce Bauman was absent from that meeting, however, his comments here seem incongruent with Schefter’s February 2022 statement. 

Bauman later seemed confused about the purpose of the Transition Committee. He wanted to take a vote to possibly bring the Old Warrior Logo back “Isn’t that what we are hearing from the Community.” Schefter then reminded him that no motion was called for during the February 17th Board meeting. * Technically true, but Schefter actually came out very strongly in that meeting suggesting in his mind it would NOT be appropriate to revisit that vote. It’s true Board members could have disagreed with him and motioned anyway. The direction and leadership here is still worth noting. 

Jim Holley: “You’re talking about a major effort here that half the people are for and half the people are against. I just think we are spending too much time on it. It was mentioned quite a while ago that we would gradually get rid of the Logo’s use  as things wore out, they wouldn’t be replaced with the same Logo. And maybe through time this will work itself out. I mean that’s my two cents. 

Coalition Note – The Board”s own survey showed 80/20 for keeping the Old Logo. 

Mike Wolford: “ Jim can I get some clarification here? I mean, I hear what you’re saying, and I agree, but if we are going to let things Phase out, what will we replace them with? I think that’s part of the issue because you know things wearout. Whether it’s 6 months or a couple of years, what do we do? Do we just maintain “blank for the meantime” and just “table” it, which.. Ok, I’m not opposed to that either But I would in some sort of semblance of order, how do we go about that?”  Jim Holley’s response was “that the Board voted to retire the Old Logo, and heard a presentation for a new one.” He proposed the Board could set aside a time to vote on that one or one with changes. 

Samantha Hall, Marylee Hall, and Mike Wolford were under the impression it included discussions surrounding a compromise Logo in addition to donated Old Logo items. Samantha clarified for Bruce Bauman that one of the reasons a vote did not occur on February 17th was to get some distance from the “emotionality” of the evening. It was her view that this Transition Committee was a way to revisit the new Logo discussion. 

Danielle Weaver-Watts said she was under the impression it just pertained to donated items.

Elizabeth Dauberman was non-committal on what her understanding of the committee was. She did think a Transition Committee could occur regarding donated items as the Logo itself was in question. “As we’re working on a Logo…I guess I don’t know who is going to be working on the logo… because the kids probably gave up.” 

Kelly Jarvis “In my opinion anything that was gifted with a Warrior Logo on it should stay. It was given with love from old classes. There was never any malintent.”

President Schefter proposed the committee to consist of Two Board Members, Two Administrators, Two Alumni, Two Parents, Two Teachers

Bruce Bauman was recommended by Schefter to be on this Committee who respectfully declined “I sat through the Diversity Committee and Im not going through that again.” 

Coalition Note: Sounds like he wasn’t happy with the Process of the Diversity Committee. 

Motion by Bruce K Bauman, second by James Holley.

Final Resolution: Motion Passes

Yea: Bruce K Bauman, Elizabeth Dauberman, Samantha Hall, James Holley, Kelly Jarvis, Robert Schefter, Danielle Weaver-Watts, R Michael Wolford

Nay: Marylee Hall

Committee Report – Personnel and Policy

Board Decision / Discussion about Superintendent Agency Selection

President Schefter opened up the Superintendent Search Agency discussion with the following response to direct quotes made from but not limited to: Samantha ColeDeborah Kalina, and Sharon Leitch in Public Comment. His full statement is as follows:

“I guess before we delve into the substance of this if it’s okay with you Mrs. Dauberman, I’d like to make an observation. And that is, my recollection as an individual Board member, not as the President, and my personal observation, is that when we set up that special meeting to hear presentations, there was some discussion as to whether it was going to be a Committee Meeting, or a Special Meeting. Committee Meeting would just mean “No vote” could be taken.Then we could NOT vote, even if the board was ready to. We decided to make it a Special Meeting so that IF the Board was ready to make a decision that night, we COULD. I certainly did not perceive it as there was some sort of mandate or obligation to vote that night. If the Board as a whole, or even a majority felt they were comfortable voting, we could have done so. And there was a motion, and there was a vote. And it went the way it did. I do not think that the 4/4 vote, or the fact that Board members expressed a desire to want additional time to do whatever further due diligence they saw fit, as a somehow lack of preparation or divisive stall tactic. I don’t see it. And unless or until I do, I will set forth that this Board, it is not a lack of leadership. It is not dysfunctional. It’s not divisive. It’s not divisive because YOU say it’s divisive. And those who speak against being divisive are promulgating division by making that accusation. You say we won’t get a good candidate  because we have division. Well YOU’RE the one up there saying we’re not going to get a good candidate. You know, we had a vote, and there were… my fellow board members… I believe four were ready to vote, and that’s great. And some were not, and that’s okay too. But that… alleged division… is coming from the outside, not from the Board. So I just want to say, moving forward, that we continue to try to work together, as I think we are.. And continue to learn each other’s perspectives, and appreciate… the respectful and thoughtful input that we have. And.. not let… that derail us. Thank You.”

Discussion was held on the merits of mostly the IU13 and PSBA organizations. Public comment earlier had called on the Board to share their research findings and this was the first opportunity for the Board to offer their feedback. 

Marylee Hall presented her research and findings of both PSBA and IU13 and listed the names of the references she spoke with. “I could go either way. For IU13 I’m very satisfied with the way they would reach out to the community, how they would dissect and guide through the process as well as PSBA.”

Mike Wolford gave a defense for why he needed more time after hearing the PSBA presentation during the March 1, 2022  Special Meeting. “The reason I voted no was the presentation we were given (hard copy) versus the presentation that was given (that night) were different…. IU13 thought a lot about the culture and the environment, and the personal fit.. Not just their qualifications and everything. PSBA never mentioned anything… Do they have that? If they have that then I would have been on board but they never mentioned it. So there are the reasons I voted No. He went on to explain that he used the extra time to research PSBA more and found that they were capable and did offer those things and he is now comfortable having that information and voting. 

Samantha Hall gave a presentation on her research and findings on the pros and cons of mostly IU13 and PSBA . She listed the names of the references she spoke to.  “There were a couple of factors that I was looking for in these three organizations. THe first one was an experienced facilitator to guide us through this search process and to help us build consensus with each other, on the search goals, on the strategy, on the engagement, and ultimately on the selection of our next Superintendent. The second thing is… because of what we have heard from our community… the capability to develop multiple opportunities for input and help us synthesize that input…. I think certainly having multiple networks to recruit highly qualified and vetted candidates with consideration to fit for  the position and SYC culture and being able to help us with that. Plus clearly defined evaluation criteria…. The last is the adaptability to customize the search process to meet our unique circumstances.” 

She remarked that Tom Templton had excellent references and they spoke very highly of him. She was concerned however that he was running a “one man show.”

Regarding IU13 it was her opinion based on the people she contacted that they had a “very friendly family feel.” Later on she remarked, “I felt that they would be that consultative partner to us, the one that as a new group who hasn’t gelled yet, would be able to provide that help to us.” A short time later she recounted an example of how IU13 helped another School Board who had some communication issue with their search. In the end the references largely attributed their decision based on the handling and consultation of IU13. 

Another difference she found with IU13 was that their process was adaptive. “One of the things that I have researched in these search programs is that you can get surveys from the community, but those can come in two different places. Depending on what your community needs, the survey can come BEFORE you build the candidate profile…. This would give us a lens into what is important to our community. So again, they were able to do that at the front end, whereas PSBA they were not able to do that, they have different processes that they go through.” She noted IU13 also had a very robust outreach and used a lot of the same resources as PSBA but was also assertive with reaching out within their own  networks. 

In her opinion PSBA, “clearly have a robust qualified team. They have a proprietary process.’ Samantha noted her concerns about PSBA’s consultative abilities and was assured by the people she reached out to that they do have this process but chose not to speak about it because they highlight their agency’s differences in their presentations. However, Samantha also discovered that PSBA does not have the adaptability concerning the community survey. “ When I pressed her (Britta from PSBA) a little bit further and I was asking about the adaptability depending on what the community needs they would not see putting that survey first. They see the survey really not so much to build the candidate profile but as a way to be able to refine what those questions are.” 

Samantha gave the following recommendations in conclusion “ Between those I honestly can say that both of them will serve us well. I think IU13 would serve us a little bit better for what it is that we need given our group dynamic but I would be pleased with either.” – Coalition Note: As will unfold later, Samantha’s research carried some weight and was referenced later as the reason at least one member changed their vote. It’s reasonable to assume a possible two Board members changed. 

Bruce Bauman entered the conversation with the following: “I will confess that my opinions are on reading the proposals only. I did not do any research beyond that.” He agreed with the concerns that Tom Templeton would be a “One Man Show.” “LIU, I found their proposal to be pretty thin. And I probably shouldn’t talk about this in a public meeting but LIU has always been a disappointment to me when it comes time to deliver on things. We have no internet tonight. And guess who is responsible for our internet.” 

Important Coalition Note: It was at this time that the Solicitor interjected that Bauman was confused and had the WRONG organization entirely. After being informed of his error, “Oh I feel much better about that. So I can go then with either IU13 or PSBA, I think PSBA probably has a greater presence around the State so they may be able to identify candidates that IU13 might not know about or be familiar with that would be the only thing that would tip me in favor of PSBA.” – Important Coalition Note: Bauman admitted he only read the proposals, he did NOT watch the presentations or do further research. Mike Wolford noted earlier that the PSBA written proposal differed  from their live presentation. 

Marylee Hall gave Bruce Bauman additional information by adding,  “I do want to add to that, Matt of IU13 was the Assistant Deputy to the Secretary of Education. So he is very knowledgeable and connected.”

Elizabeth Dauberman– “The last two weeks I have not had time to call anybody, I’ve got to be honest. So I was going through the proposals. I leaned towards IU13 because I am more of a small knit community. That’s what I read from them. And they were going to walk us through it. I just enjoyed their presentation. It just didn’t seem as corporate. So I was leaning towards them. But then I also listened to Public Comment that evening. And someone had said “we don’t want people from just this area, there’s many places you can look from, other states. So that kinda sat in the back of my mind. So then I’m like well then it’s PSBA. Because PSBA reaches out further. But personally, I would pick IU13. But because I was listening to Public Comment which we do, I went towards PSBA because I know they will reach out further. Because when IU13 said what they would reach out to, I was like hmm they don’t reach out very far. But I liked them. I have no issues with them. So, I honestly… because you said PSBA (looking at Jim Holley), I was like alright I’m good with that. I was good with either one so whichever anyone would have said I would have been good with because I think they will both do a great job. So I couldn’t honestly tell you which one I could pick, but whichever one comes up for motion I’m probably going to say Ok. Because I think they will do a great job. And that’s my opinion. And I’m sorry for not doing more research but I had one heck of a two weeks.” – Coalition Note: Dauberman was apologetic, clearly unprepared, and felt the need to address Public Comments (Specifically Nathan Henkel) who called on the Board to show their research and findings from the last two weeks. 

President Schefter– “I share the consensus I think we have that between IU13 and PSBA we are in good hands. I was leaning towards PSBA, but after hearing Samantha’s example of how IU13 and the specific situation was able to work through a potential issue and to work that out shows that personal touch. I think with PSBA we might have a wider reach. But when it comes to a wider reach, or a more personal customized hands on approach, I would lean that way (IU13).” He followed this up by saying he did reach out to references who had experiences with both and thought both were great. However the reference did lean towards IU13 because of “the more personal touch.” 

James Holley– “ Well before the last meeting I contacted two people I know in other school districts who used PSBA that were not listed as references. Because I feel you get a more truthful response. And they could not say enough about what PSBA did for their search. As time moved on and they had to make a change in direction, PSBA was right there to make the change without any snafus and they were very highly recommended using PSBA and that’s why I made the motion to hire them.” – Coalition Note: Jim did not make it public exactly who he spoke with and what schools these references were affiliated with. He also did not submit new research, just a backstory for information he was going on before the last meeting. 

With discussion seemingly at a close, James Holley as if he was attending a different meeting and did not hear that Marylee Hall, Samantha Hall, Elizabeth Dauberman, and President Schefter were leaning IU13, then motioned to hire PSBA as the new Superintendent Search Agency. The motion received a second by Kelly Jarvis. Coalition Note: Neither Kelly Jarvis nor Danielle Weaver-Watts participated in this discussion and did not provide any information the community required during Public Comments. 

The motion to hire PSBA unfolded with the following Roll Call vote and did NOT carry. 

Elizabeth Dauberman- Nay
Marylee Hall: Nay
Samantha Hall: Nay
James Holley: Yes
Kelly Jarvis: Yes
Robert Schefter: Nay
Danielle Weaver-Watts: Yes
Mike Wolford: Nay
Bruce Bauman: Yes

5 Nay – 4 Yes

Coalition Note: It is the opinion of the Coalition that the reasons this vote was defeated lay largely due to both the research Samantha Hall provided and the tenacity of Marylee Hall when trying to find another way to circumvent the current motion on the floor. Though Marylee failed to stop the motion, she signaled to others who would like to support another direction. Both she and President Schefter laid the groundwork to vote PSBA down and motion IU13 immediately after. 

**Additionally, it is important to note that while discussions, evidence, and research are very important (Samantha Hall’s contributions here certainly show this), strategy and motioning for directions are equally important. Research and evidence WITHOUT a motion almost cost us the direction the majority of the Board leaned. Jim Holley is a seasoned Board Member. He will motion his leanings regardless of the direction and discussions of the rest of the Board. And the momentum of Robert’s Rules for meetings often rewards such strategy. 

Marylee Hall motioned to hire IU13 for the Superintendent Search Agency with a Second from Mike Wolford. The Roll Call vote unfolded as follows:

Marylee Hall: Yes
Samantha Hall: Yes
James Holley: No
Kelly Jarvis: Yes
Robert Schefter: Yes
Danielle Weaver-Watts: Yes
Mike Wolford: Yes
Bruce Bauman: Yes

*  After the vote was taken, Jim Holley asked to change his vote to “Yes” in order to provide a unanimous decision. 

Reports of Representative Appointments

Kelly Jarvis – “I’m going to touch upon the Charter School Reform… it also piggy backs on Tuesday’s Budget and Finance Meeting because it was mentioned in the meeting that School Districts are responsible for paying out whatever the tuition rate is per student in the district. So in our district that means $13, 653 for regular education students and $30,311 for all special education students regardless of their tier level of need. And that is an expense for our district but every district pays different tuition rates to Charter Schools so students receive the same education but Districts pay different rates. States do have the power to hold Charter Schools accountable, but at this point they just haven’t chosen to, although reforms have been proposed many times over the past 24 years. Legislators have brought forth Bills in the past for reforms but once those Bills came forward they didn’t get to a vote or were voted down. So the reform proposal for now mentions several aspects, a flat tuition rate of $9,800 per year for regular education students and a Four Tier Special Education Funding Formula. This would not affect Cyber Charter School Students Negatively as the cost per school according to most eliminates [sic] if the proposed tuition rate would be utilized Cyber Charter Schools would still receive the appropriate amount from our District. So the proposed regulations would also establish minimum standards for Charter Schools in order to increase accountability in their Education Quality and Transparency.”

Later on she includes that PSBA encourages Board Members who wish to provide comments on this legislation and how to do so. “Unfortunately on the flip side the Education Committees urge rejection of the Charter Schools regulations. One of the House Committee Chair Person’s stated: “I hope the Department will withdrawal these and start anew, if not regulations will harm Charter School Students.” She then editorializes, “ But I think it’s really important to understand that reform isn’t anti-Charter Schools, it’s just about being fair and equitable so that our District’s tax dollars aren’t providing MORE (her emphasis) than what’s necessary to educate them. I mean Charter Schools are technically for profit. They are publicly traded companies so some of the money they receive does go to their shareholders.”

Jarvis mentions the upcoming Advocacy Day on April 25th, to discuss this “very critical issue as it’s taking money out of our District unnecessarily.” 

*Coalition Notes: Many members of the Parent and Tax Payer Coalition have children enrolled in Cyber Charter Schools. Emphasis was added to Mrs. Jarvis’s statements to highlight words like “Unfortunately” when she noted push back against the Charter School Reform Bill. The Coalition would also like to draw your attention to the portions that speak of how this reform would not negatively impact Charter School Students, without showing proper support for why that is the case. Reducing their budget by a third of the former amount seems incongruent with that idea. The following phrases: “so that our District’s tax dollars aren’t providing MORE than what’s necessary to educate them.” And, “as it’s taking money out of our District unnecessarily,’ are also deeply disturbing.