'Leaders should pull together'

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EDITOR'S NOTE: A word of explanation may be helpful for readers to understand the timing of letters by Ms. Charles and Ms. Harrell. On Monday, April 15, a letter was published from Ms. Charles stating reasoning behind some recent school board decisions. The newspaper received a letter from Ms. Harrell on the topics that arrived beyond deadline to make the April 15 printed page (the newspaper publishes on Opinion page once a week). Ms. Harrell's letter was posted to the paper's online edition on Tuesday, April 16. That letter is printed today, above. Ms. Charles then submitted the following letter in response last week, which is published below. - WRB

Typically, I do not respond to letters written about the board that express one's opinion. But in this case, I am responding, only to correct misinformation given to the public by Ms. Dorothy Harrell.

The school district does not have a policy that states who the board must hire as superintendent in the case of a vacancy. As a matter of fact, the policy that Ms. Harrell refers to in her letter does not include the word "vacancy," at all. The policy only determines who fills in for the superintendent in the event of his absence, such as a vacation, sick leave, etc. We do not have a succession policy for superintendent vacancies. If we did, we would never need to search for a superintendent in the case of a vacancy - we would just promote. We don't do that.

Additionally, Ms. Harrell took the liberty of editing a BDN excerpt from an article last January. Dr. Childs and I were interviewed by the editor about the direction of the new board, board goals, board governance and other topics. Dr. Childs offered a cautiously optimistic comment that was actually complimentary. The exact quote from the BDN is - "Historically, Childs said the school board has been micromanaging and over-involved in district operations without the requisite expertise. However, he said that approach is changing." By altering that quote in her letter, Ms. Harrell made it appear critical of the board, which it was not.

With as many challenges as our district has, we need community leaders to pull together and bring the positive change that we serving on the board believe is possible. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when "facts" are presented, it is in the best interest of all to be accurate. Anything less causes confusion and division. We don't need either.

Pam Charles

President

Beloit School Board

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