Tomorrow evening, July 2, the Delta/Greely School District Board is holding a special meeting to approve Laural Jackson as the next Superintendent. You can find the meeting warning and a copy of her proposed contract here: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/dgsd/Board.nsf/Public
In my opinion, Laural is an excellent superintendent candidate. I worked with Laural for several years during the re-opening of Fort Greely School and the establishment of Gerstle River School. During that time I found her to be straightforward, compassionate, an inclusive decision maker. She solicits input from stakeholders and when confronted with a challenging decision, religiously places the learner’s best interests first. Let me be clear that my concerns do not lie with Laural Jackson; I think she’ll be good for the district.
My concern lies with the clear lack of process leading the DGSD School Board to arrive at Laural’s appointment.
After learning of the superintendent vacancy, I sent an email on Thursday, June 26 to Richard Mauer, school board chair, with a copy to all school board members and the administrative assistant. In full disclosure, I asked the question because I would be interested in applying for the vacancy, should one be available.
I can understand reasons for not receiving a response; it’s summer, people are on vacation, it’s only been five days, the superintendent’s resignation is still very recent…yet something just doesn’t sit right with this scenario. A superintendent resigns and within a week the DGSD board has a replacement? Isn’t there some guidance to follow when determining the most visible representative, the highest paid employee, and arguably the most vital administrative position when considering the needs of EVERY learner?
Doing some quick research, it would appear that the DGSD does have a clear policy perspective on hiring personnel (http://www.dgsd.k12.ak.us/files/_pSEA4_/f8c0195cd0ff94ab3745a49013852ec4/4000_Update_FY13.pdf) and clear administrative regulations to make a hire (http://www.dgsd.k12.ak.us/files/_rIFWI_/9be4597d84a5238a3745a49013852ec4/4000ARs_July_2013.pdf) leading me to ask the question why side step this process?
Again, I personally support Laural Jackson as the next DGSD Superintendent. I write this statement today because I care deeply for all of people, cultures, and communities that comprise Delta Junction. I attribute my current professional and personal success on the many lessons learned when living in Delta. I personally wish nothing but success for every last student and their families. If this decision is right for Delta, then so be it. I would however think the process outlined in board policy and administrative regulation exists for a reason, and would encourage the DGSD school board to reach out to Delta citizens and families to be included when arriving at such an important decision.
Brian J. Schaffer