Board of Education member Greg Davis said at Thursday’s school board meeting that he would step down effective June 1 and called for whoever wins the May 24 election to replace him to be nominated for the remainder of his term.
Davis cited several reasons for resigning before the end of his term in January: not wanting to be a lame duck, a desire for the new District 1 representative to be involved in the hiring of a new superintendent, the lingering pain resulting from former Superintendent Demond Means. permanence and frustration with what he called a bloated central office.
Heidi Hensley and James Alexander are running for the District 1 seat, and according to Davis, both agreed to be sworn in early. However, it is unclear what process the school board will follow. Usually, the board would solicit nominations and then appoint someone from the nominees to fill a vacancy.
Davis’ full remarks are below:
I expect tonight to be my last regular board meeting as a board member. There are two people running for the District 1 School Board, and I asked each of them if they would be ready to be sworn in time for the June business session. I hope this will facilitate the search for a replacement for the remaining seven months of my mandate. My reasoning for resigning as of June 1st is as follows:
First of all, I have never been okay with elected lame ducks serving month after month after the election. At least in my case, I believe that I would be ineffective as a member of the school board in such a situation.
Second, the board is beginning the process of hiring another CCSD superintendent, and the new District 1 school board member is expected to be on the ground floor of that decision. I don’t want to weigh in on long-term decisions for which my replacement will suffer the consequences.
Third, I am still pained by the controversial experience of the dismissal of the former superintendent. Under his guidance, I experienced my greatest hope and greatest disappointment as a school board member.
Fourth, I am more than frustrated with a bloated central office staff taking away resources that should go directly to schools. The challenges of dealing with the emotional/social needs of our children and their families can only be met through the daily interaction of school staff. I believe that the more teachers, para-pros, behavioral specialists, social workers, counselors we have available in schools, the better we can address behaviors that interfere with teaching. For example, Restorative Justice Practices is not a program taught virtually, but a lifestyle change in a school that requires a lot of human capital.
Fifth, I’m not sure this board fully understands that the teacher-student relationship is primarily influenced by the head teacher relationship. So, therefore, we evaluate on statistical data and not on empirical data. Cut off from school visits, that’s to be expected.
In conclusion, I thank each of my fellow board members for the many hours they devote to trying to find the best ways to meet the needs of our students, our parents and the community. I appreciate our superintendent for having occupied a position that she did not seek but which suited her best given the circumstances. Finally, I so appreciate the hard work of our teachers and staff at all levels.
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