Another squawk from Mr. Bernard:
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2008 1:31 AM
Subject: [Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch] New comment on Superintendent Round-up.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Superintendent Round-up":
Response to what, my friend and future admirer? I have so many quarrels with the board that you must be specific.
At your post here, you published Tom Gonzalez's letter.
Gonzalez thinks that you wrote this:
“The School Board had 10 days over the usual 20 to answer the complaint. The School Board failed to do so.” The woman who filed the charge, Ms. Satchell, gave me the impression that Gonzalez had missed the school-board filing time. I thought she had followed the issue closely and knew the score. But what if I did mix up the filing times? That's nothing to fulminate about as you are doing.
I suspect you have some hidden agenda like sexism: not thinking it's ok for a woman to speak out. Or you have some buddies in the administration and think it's ok for it to run ROSSAC like a crony jobs program for family and sycophants.
Gonzalez writes this:
Although I believe the order to be self-explanatory, I note that on April 28, 2008, Judge Arnold allowed the School Board and the individual defendants additional time within which to respond to Ms. Satchel’s complaint. Therefore, neither the School Board nor either of the other defendant -i (sic) (cunieform?)required to file a response to the suit until Tuesday, May 6, 2008.
I refer to this response. Is it true that Gonzalez provided the document? Does it outline what he says it does? I think you knew what I was referring to. If you've got the guts, respond.
Gonzalez provided me no document about the filing. And it takes no guts to merely tell the facts. Courage has to do with acting in a difficult decision to do the right thing. This is not one of those cases. It's simply a question about a clerical detail by a fellow--you-- whose head is filled with tremendous trifles.
All your talk of guts makes me laugh. When I do provide my name, you question it and then make fun of it (although the breed is a St Bernard). You must have been a great teacher and role model.
My nursing patients used to call me "Ms. Dreary," because my maiden name was Drury. I laughed. I didn't attach undue significance to the situation. You seem to be the kind of fellow who strains at gnats. You have my condolences, Mr. Whatever.
I was a competent teacher most days and an inspired one occasionally. And I did inspire a number of students. The best student evaluation I got in 28 years was "off the wall but knows her stuff." And I was a role model for a number of students. Most teachers are.
Your obsessions are trivial. I am an intellectual. Give me something tough to answer or hush up.
If you have a big crush on Gonzalez, write him a billet doux. He might like to receive one. lee drury de cesare
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Moderate comments for this blog. There are a couple of nay-sayers in the comments cul-de-sac. Here's one who is arguing that Ms. Elia does not need any experience such as being principal before she becomes superintendent. Somebody answer this logician of the last resort. I have to deal with a specimen who calls my satire a pack of lies. lee
Well, it looks like Mr. Grego will get the job of superintendent in Osceola County. He and Elia were the two last standing in Hillsborough County superintendent lottery. The board had not selected anybody outside the county since 1967. They dredged up Dr. Lennard from the bowels of vo-tech.
The board advertised "nationwide" for a superintendent at the cost of $35,000 to the taxpayers when its members knew all the time that the ad was a cover-their-hind-quarters gesture. But taxpayer money was well spent, they figure, on covering their backsides.
The only current board member who did not participate in this fakery was April Griffin, not on the board then--not that she wouldn't have fallen in line if we can judge from her subsequent performance on the board.
Elia's experience was minimal--and all in the HC school system. The board took umbrage at a well-qualified candidate who, they said, was hoity-toity. The woman had excellent credentials and the assurance that go with those. This board is so parochial that anybody with academic pizzazz cows them. A students intimidate them. They want a C student, and they got it in Elia.
My read is they since the board was scared of anybody with ability, Elia with her meagre credentials, HC-only experience, and no Ph.D. (the board lowered the PH.D. requirement to Elia's master's) suited the board just fine. My read is that a person with ability threatens the board C students, so Elia, who has to struggle with grammar and punctuation and who probably flattered the imminently susceptible board members to a faretheewell from her in-house spot got the job. Since then, Otero has acted her faithful lieutenant in the weird protocols of the secondary school system administrations.
A teacher told me at the protest of the extra class to the board that Otero would have been worse than Elia. I wonder if that teacher would have said that after Elia left her goody campaign mode and morphed into Madame Chiang Kai Chek with the extra class, the grade inflation scheme, and the Spring, avoiding teacher input in all three unilateral decisions.
I got these data from the St. Pete Times's Mr. Solochek. He never says anything spicy or reveals anything about the underbelly of school politics, the reason why newspapers are bleeding ad revenue apace and giving way to the blogs, but he has the facts right.
The Osceola board is all men. That fact may give Le Otero agita sooner or later. You know how competitive men are. This will probably be another Freudian Totem and Taboo primal horde choreograph. The bottom line is that Otero should guard his goodies in Osceola: that 's Indian country. Think General Custer. lee
May 20, 2008
Hillsborough assistant superintendent Mike Grego was a finalist Tuesday for the top job in Osceola County. But the School Board put off a final vote for two weeks.
Three of the Osceola Board members have stated that they favor Grego for their next superintendent. The other two prefer Alberto Carvalho, an associate superintendent from Miami-Dade. That didn't seem to change on Tuesday, according to Osceola schools spokeswoman Dana Schafer. But a Carvalho supporter presented new data about student performance from both candidates' home districts.
Since the information had not been vetted, a decision was tabled until June 4 to allow Board members time to further interview the candidates, Schafer said. "This is the most important decision they have to make," she added. "It's a two-week wait to say are you comfortable with your decision."
Hillsborough names new school chief
The Hillsborough School Board voted unanimously to name facilities chief MaryEllen Elia the district's first female superintendent.
By JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK
Published May 19, 2005
TAMPA - Hillsborough School Board members stuck with the familiar Thursday, choosing facilities chief MaryEllen Elia to be the first female superintendent of the nation's ninth-largest school district.
Elia, who has never been a principal or superintendent, immediately set an ambitious agenda that keyed into the board's top goals. She pledged to redouble efforts to eliminate the achievement gap and to take every possible step to meet the incessant growth that fills schools faster than the district can build them.
"The board had some excellent candidates," said Elia, 56, who won a unanimous vote on the first ballot. "The issues that I think are most important right now - the issues of student achievement and growth - are issues that I've had experience with."
Before taking over the construction and maintenance department in 2003, Elia led the district's secondary education division. She also created a widely acclaimed magnet school system.
Board members credited Elia, a 19-year district veteran, with developing relationships with other government entities.
"This wasn't because she was a woman, though I think a woman's perspective is a value," said Candy Olson, chair of the six-woman, one-man board. "This person is the best person. The relationships she's built over years with all levels of people in our community, that speaks for itself."
Rumors have swirled for months that the fix was in for an insider. Earlier in the week, board member Jennifer Faliero pointedly asked Hillsborough assistant superintendent Michael Grego, another finalist, whether he was the "chosen one" to replace retiring schools chief Earl Lennard.
He said no.
Elia, meanwhile, deflected questions about whether she benefited from a "good old boy" system.
"I am the antithesis of the good old boy system," she said.
The board needed little time Thursday to pare the five-candidate field to Elia and Grego.
Detroit schools CEO Kenneth Burnley withdrew his name moments before the board convened. Miami-Dade deputy superintendent Sonia Diaz impressed board members with her knowledge, but apparently rubbed some the wrong way with what were deemed "prima donna" traits.
Former New Orleans superintendent Anthony Amato did not get enough votes to move ahead.
Elia and Grego sat tensely in their usual meeting chairs, hands folded, as board members began to discuss their preferences. When vice chairwoman Carolyn Bricklemyer joined the chorus leaning toward a candidate with experience in construction and instruction, Elia gave up trying to not smile.
Grego sank into his chair. He later congratulated Elia and offered his support.
Board members expressed no concern that they ran a national search that ended with a leader they've known for years. The district has not hired an outsider as superintendent since 1967.
See tomorrow's Times or sptimes.com for the full report.
[Last modified May 19, 2005, 17:45:03]