Last fall, I expressed a preference to avoid both upheaval and any ensuing transition period that stalls initiatives through a change of leadership. It wasn’t resounding support of Dr. Starr, just a concern that there are few if any better leaders in a potential candidate pool. Full disclosure for those still in the dark: I did NOT win the election. Four school board members were elected by you (and presumably you did your research and voted November 4 in the most important local race). Those four members plus their other four colleagues are or will be fully prepared to decide the fate of Dr. Starr. Trust them. They don’t do this for fame or money. (How many in our county can even name all 8 members of the school board?) They all are diligent and passionate, and more importantly, representative of our county.
Over the past week, I’ve seen many elected leaders and self-appointed thought leaders weigh in on this issue. Some commentary hints at manipulation, some reeks of desperation, and others smell of indolence (that wonderful SAT word) and not doing their homework about the process. Folks, the decision to renew Dr. Starr’s contract lies solely with the Board of Education. It doesn’t negate your right to lobby board members about their upcoming decision. Feel free to email, call, write letters about your perspective. I would hope principals and staff are speaking up about their own experiences. I don’t know if Dr. Starr’s evaluation included a 360 assessment, but the opinions of his subordinates do matter. Parents and community leaders should also share their opinions, just not in the media.
For the next several decades, Dr. Starr’s rather public evaluation will be “Google-able”. That’s really not fair to him and frankly makes our county look amateurish or unprofessional. Let’s respect the process and not undermine it by calling for a public evaluation simply because he’s a “public” official.
Within all of this is the silver lining: community engagement and the continued discussion on the preferred direction of our school system. That’s priceless…just like those tickets to the Super Bowl.
Go ‘Hawks (because any team who can beat the Packers deserves to win it all!)