Letters to the Editor week of 9/6/07

368

Resignations

Dear Editor:

I am a taxpayer of the county and have to commend Nancy Peters for her comments concerning the superintendent, school board and the county education system.

I have attended a board meeting in the past three months and found that the school board seems to work for the superintendent instead of the other way around. Mr. Caddell is a major blame for the missing money and the lack of trust and leadership within our school corporation. Even so, the other blame is placed upon every sitting member of the board for not holding Mr. Caddell responsible for what has happened within our school corporation. The lack of leadership with our school staff and administration is to be blamed upon the superintendent and the school board for not listening and showing an interest in what is going on and what is being said within them.

The school board is wholeheartedly to blame for injustice of giving a roll over contract to the superintendent, which basically makes him a richer man for a firing. Let me say no other hard working American is awarded a better pay for being fired, this is truly a tragedy for our county.

I also see the board went ahead and placed another man on the board in replacement of a woman. I truly feel they are afraid of letting a woman speak her mind upon the board. It turns out to be the good ole boys still stick together again. The board had four women apply for the opening and all four were very qualified but the board elected to appoint someone that rumor has it had been basically courting the board since the opening came about. One rumor of courting is he took the board president out for golf one day before the appointment.

I realize the board president was not at the final appointment meeting, but they had already had their discussion of who to pick. I truly feel sorry for the teachers of this corporation for the lack of leadership as I have talked to many of the educators who agree that there is a lack of leadership.

I am calling for the resignation of the superintendent and all school board members, even the last one appointed; he helped hire Mr. Caddell. I hope more people come forward to express their concern upon this matter. Every member of this community should call the administration office, or the board members’ homes demanding that the board and superintendent resign.

I am also going to be out in the county shortly with a petition for people to sign, demanding all these resignations.

Lowell Reynolds

Vevay

School budget

To the Editor:

I studied the Switzerland County School Corporation budget that was published in August 30th, 2007l newspaper. I put it down only later to pick it up again. Yes, I studied it again. Finally, I tore it out of the paper to go over it another time.

Truly there is a process to object to items in this budget. In my opinion this is just that . . . a budget objection procedure to cover the board’s actions. I understand the procedures . . . but, how do I object to such a general budget. It looks like this budget is using only taxpayers’ dollars, but does it include endowment monies.

I would object to lawyer fees (covering any of the embezzlement that occurred under our current superintendent, and, I would object to lawyer fees covering any suit filed against our superintendent) if these fees would be in this budget. It is so general; I couldn’t find them itemized. I have learned over the years that a general fund can be used for anything . . . could lawyer fees be taken out of this fund?

According to the published budget, there is a Board of Education budget affirmation hearing Monday, September 10th, 2007, at 7 p.m. for any objections. The budget doesn’t list where the hearing will be held. On September 24th, 2007, a school board meeting at the school corporation office will be held at 7 p.m. to adopt this budget.

Nancy Peters

Near Vevay

Superintendent response

To the Editor:

I usually do not respond to Letters to the Editor. As Switzerland County school superintendent, I welcome debate about the education of our children. I also understand that every school superintendent gets criticized.

I draw the line, however, at personal attacks on our employees and on the Board of Trustees. The series of letters Nancy Peters has placed in these pages has crossed that line.

Mrs. Peters contends that giving a new principal a mentor raises questions about his qualifications. Mentoring is valuable to anyone in a new position, however qualified he or she may be. We are fortunate that we have veteran principals in our schools who can share their experiences with new managers.

Mrs. Peters believes that the Board of Trustees makes a “mockery” of its meetings by reviewing recommendations from the administration and acting on them. I believe we should be proud of our board’s leadership, which over the past few years has produced:

– Two Blue Ribbon School designations (Jefferson Craig and Switzerland County Elementary).

– Three 4-star School designations.

– Sectionals in baseball, softball, basketball and volleyball, which we’d not had for nearly 50 years.

– Collaborative programs that have given preschoolers monthly books to read; debt service payment that have reduced individual property tax bills more than $200 a year (based on $100,000 in assessment); and free textbooks.

– Gendering of classrooms in language arts, a program that has won state recognition.

– A nationally recognized FFA program, including an agribusiness class featuring a fish farm.

– A school tax rate among the lowest in the state.

As superintendent, I respect the hard work and commitment of our board members by striving to bring them proposals worthy of approval. I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything we do. I do believe, despite Mrs. Peters’ objections, that when a national conference on the dropout problem is taking place as close as Louisville, it’s worth sending staff. Mrs. Peters contends attendance is a parental problem. I believe it’s our problem, too, and if going to a conference teaches us how to keep one student from quitting school, it’s a good investment.

The last meeting of the board covered many other topics, big and small. A Board of Trustees meeting is, after all, a business meeting of the representatives you elect to oversee your schools. The next meeting is September 10th at 7 p.m.

Tracy Caddell

Switzerland County School Corporation