Here is an email I just sent to the Board and Dr. Wiegand:
Here is an email I just sent to the Board and Dr. Wiegand:
Wednesday I had the privilege of chatting with Superintendent Dr. Wiegand and Board President Sue Grey, in two different venues. On both occasions my goal was simply to learn; now my challenge is clearly communicating what I learned.
I met with Dr. Wiegand at the Mellon Center. Aside from the construction and relatively unmarked temporary entrance, the mood inside the building was obviously somber. I had set up an appointment with Dr. Wiegand prior to the events on Tuesday, and told her that if she was not in a mood to talk about her thesis, I totally understood. But we decided to move forward with our plans.
In regards to her research and findings, she confirmed that, in a oversimplified nutshell kind of way, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. I asked her about what provided the impetus for the topic in the first place, and Dr. Wiegand relayed a bit of what was on her mind at the time, that she was concerned about the academic performance of certain groups and how she had observed that academic teams seemed to have a positive effect. On top of that, she also noticed how hard it is to push change through at times. So she wanted to study the process of “reform” and try to find specific obstacles.
Much of our conversation Read the rest of this entry »
I usually try not to advertise too strongly that I have a vested interest at Carrie Busey; at least, not on this blog. I think it is more because I want the focus of this space to cover many different aspects of Unit 4. Having said that, there is some exciting stuff happening in and around Carrie Busey. It has to do with what to call the new school building in Savoy.
I realize some community folks still have some residual negativity towards a “south of University” school being built in what some consider a middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhood. Still others are like “Savoy? You mean those [insert adjective] folks who voted against the MTD and don’t want to pay any taxes?”. And still, “Savoy? Where’s that?” Read the rest of this entry »
Wow, that didn’t take long:
Granted, it is only 10:08 am and the news release is slated for 2:pm. But we all know what they are going to say. This is quite shocking. Dr. Wiegand went from not submitting her application to submitting it after the deadline and flip-flopping on her decision to this. As my head is spinning, I am trying to gather my thoughts about this whole “transparency” thing. School Exec Connect said the BOE was being very transparent initially. But there are some gaping black holes, especially surrounding Dr. Wiegand’s application.
Please note that I am not saying that Dr. Wiegand is a bad choice – in fact, I would say she is the best choice out of the 4 we have (had). I just don’t like the circumstances around this whole thing.
So first off, no “official” gathering next week (Dec 21). But don’t let that stop you from reinforcing the habit of dropping by at 11:30 on a whim.
This week (Dec 14th), we continued to have some excellent discussion. Again, I fear I am not going to do justice to all that was said, so I am hoping (again) that others pipe up and share their thoughts. We had with us a Champaign Council rep, an EEE Committee member, a Prairie Fields Homeowners’ Association BOD rep, myself and Chuck Jackson. Looking back at that list, I am realizing that all those folks wear multiple hats as well.
Wanna hear what we talked about? Read the rest of this entry »
If you have questions you would like the BOE or the Community Search Committee to ask of Steven Cobb, you might want to get them in ASAP.
Some questions I have:
I would love to hear what the responses are.
After reading, thinking and writing about the 4 candidates, I am left with the following.
If we look at the profile that the BOE came up with, I would venture to say that perhaps Dr. Darryl Taylor best matches the profile, with Dr. Wiegand coming in at a close second. If I look at what I want (my own profile), I am scratching my head – none meet the high standards that Dr. Malito has set. I am sorry, but I can’t get that out of my head.
Mr. Jamar Brown has been making it clear he wants to know about any questions that we the community have. My brain is too fried right now to further think about questions. But perhaps by sleeping on this, I’ll come up with something.
The Board Policies state that the Superintendent is to:
And for the last time (*grin*), I am using the high bar set by Dr. Malito.
Dr. Wiegand is in an unique position among the other candidates in that not only is she currently in the Administration, but she has been in the Champaign area with Unit 4 since 1987. On top of that, Read the rest of this entry »
Again, my roadmap is the Board Policies, which state the Superintendent is to:
And again, Dr. Malito is my role-model for these.
Dr. Darryl Taylor is the only candidate to have experience as a full-blown Superintendent under his belt. And since 2007 at that, which is not too shabby. Prior to that, Read the rest of this entry »
Again, I am using the standing Board Policies; the Superintendent is charged with:
And again, I am using Dr. Malito as an active roll model, an embodiment of those qualities.
Dr. Johnnie Thomas was awarded his doctorate in August of 2010 and has not yet had the opportunity to spread those particular wings; he has worked his way up from being a social worker in 2000, and appears to have worked primarily in School District 365-U (not sure what the “U” means, yet). In fact, Read the rest of this entry »
So here goes a 4-part series looking at each of the candidates to the Superintendent of Unit 4. My goal is to invite discussion on these candidates, and I hope to do so by laying a groundwork of my own thoughts. Which are highly subjective. But I hope they contain a measure of objectivity from time to time. But the point is you are free to disagree – I would love to hear your thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »
Here are the members of the Superintendent Search Committee, published by Unit 4:
Nathaniel Banks, Laurie Bonnett, Charles Burton, Joan Dixon, Peter Fox, Ginny Holder, Charles Larenas, Pat Lewis, Rebecca Motley, Prue Runkle, Ryan Searby, Jennifer Shelby, Seth Swartz, Mirelsie Velazquez, Scott Walter and Barb Wilson
What do you know about these folks? Read the rest of this entry »
Just making a quick scoop – more later.
- Mr. Steven M. Cobb, Chief Academic Officer, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Fort Wayne, IN
- Dr. Darryl Taylor, Superintendent, Lincoln Elementary School District 156, Calumet City, IL
- Dr. Johnnie Thomas, Associate Superintendent for Student Services for Township High School District 214, Arlington Heights, IL
- Dr. Judy Wiegand, Assistant Superintendent for Achievement and Pupil Services, Champaign Unit 4 School District, Champaign, IL
After glancing through the resumes, I am disappointed that ZERO have Superintendent experience in a district our size, and worse, only ONE has any superintendent experience in a school district (that with 1000 students). Granted, they all have skills and abilities which need to be looked at, but for anyone hoping to land someone who has run similarly sized districts is going to be sorely disappointed.
And here are some relevant NG articles:
I continue to be supremely impressed by Dr. Bob Malito. When I talk to Board Members, Committee members and commutity members, I always hear good things about this man. So now I am hunting for anything negative – I am looking for that “different opinion”.
My challenge to the Board of Education is “If you cannot find any candidates for the position of Superintendent that impress you as much as Dr. Malito, reject them outright!“. We do not want a second-rate school Chief. We do not want someone who is “good enough”. Dr. Malito is working hard to set the standard high, why would we want someone who falls below that standard?
The obvious paradox, the conundrum, is what if we cannot find anyone that good? I only hope we never find ourselves in that kind of a situation. Our charge to the School Exec Connect folks must be to find us someone we want, not someone we can live with.