(I want to apologize in advance for the tone of this post, it is not my nature to become negative; however I cannot stand by and watch this community bullying go unchecked any longer)
The fundamental question is; what skill sets or personality traits make for good school board members? After all, these people are elected to; hire the school superintendant, work together to set financial policy, evaluate and approve union contracts, and most importantly represent our students and community.
Unfortunately, because the challenges facing schools today are so numerous and diverse there is no simple check list. However, after combing through various articles that speak to the question, I came across some common traits.
One - School board members must be able to work as a team. The reason, a school board member does not set policy, the entire board does. Does anyone think Ms. Greenwell can work as a team after she staged a failed recall campaign against all 7 board members? Not only was this unprecedented but extremely divisive for our community. Ms. Greenwell never states anything positive, collaborative or productive, all she does is disagree and find fault. In an article titled “School Board Members Job Description”, by Charles Pearson he states; Warning ….. “and school board members who continually digress are not good candidates to serve.” That seems to describe Ms. Greenwell pretty accurately, “not good candidate to serve”.
Two - “School board members need to focus their efforts on serving all children. They make sure every decision or action of the board considers the best interests of all the students they serve. They understand that board members are entrusted by all the parents in the community and that no child is more important than another. Their first focus is on student achievement no matter what other issues arise.” This is a direct quote from the Iowa Association of School Boards website. The constant degrading by Ms. Greenwell of sports, theater, music, and art must stop. She stated in the 2010 election forum, she only wants to focus on 80% of the students, the ones in the “middle”. She stated no need to worry about the really smart ones or the ones struggling. She constantly mocks the very school charged with taking care of our at risk students. Learning takes all forms; it’s not just text books and wrote. Ms. Greenwell writings show her lack of compassion for all students and therefore according to this criteria make her unqualified as a candidate.
Three – School board members act with professionalism and integrity. They know that their personal behavior impacts the climate of the school district. Ms. Greenwell actions are completely disingenuous. After her failed recall attempt of all seven board members she stated it was not about the recall but about building a database. So she lied to the petitioners? She stated at the 2012 forum she supports the hold harmless millage yet has publicly campaigned against it. She calls the school building that our children learn in a “renovated cow shed”. She called middle school and high school parents “ignorant”. And she mocks our police officers.
Ms. Greenwell has come up short on all three criteria.
Ingrid Day, Howard Baron, and Rob Herner meet the qualifications of a good school board member and therefore should get our vote.