Some advice for the superintendent candidates

Published April 17, 2014 by justicewg

Welcome to Grandview, super candidates (except Quint Gage, who has been living here since 1992). You are going to have all sorts of people asking you questions and giving you advice on how to conduct yourself in the interviews – who to suck up to, who to dismiss as irrelevant (and I’m certain my blog will be pointed out as being one of the places you should avoid at all costs).

There will come a time when somebody asks you about the current conflict over the band director who “resigned”. This will not be the current board members asking the question – the majority opinion of the board will be that there was an unfortunate incident that happened because some people are just too emotional, and it was not an indication of anything. Somebody else might sneak into the interview process and ask a question about the band director.

If you do any research into the history at the school you will know that the band director incident is a bleeding raw injury that points directly to the dysfunction on the board, and its failure to communicate with the parents, or care about the opinions of the public (except for certain politically powerful members of the community). It will be obvious that the band parents and kids have suffered a major loss, and are disgusted with the board.

You will be tempted to answer “this is obviously a case of a school board that has lost its way and needs a radical corrective course change”. Do not allow yourself to be honest in answering this line of questions! This board has very thin skin, and any suggestion that they have made an error will result in the immediate loss of any consideration for the job.

The safe answer will be, “I don’t know enough to comment on the situation”.

If you really want the job, the answer you give can hint that the problem was that the public needs to be “managed” so that they have no expectation that any group of parents showing up at a meeting will have any affect on the board, and that they should learn to passively accept the wisdom of the school board. Extra points if you can imply that “rule by mob” would be the result of changing the path of the board because of a highly attended board meeting.

Good luck in your attempt to get the superintendent position. You are going to need it – doubly so if you win!

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