Impressed with public forum

Published 9:13 am Friday, September 19, 2008

This past Tuesday evening, the Franklin School Board welcomed input from citizens as to factors that should be considered in selecting our next school system superintendent.

Several individuals appeared to speak, and I for one was impressed by Chairman Bill Scarboro’s professional and graceful encouragement for citizens to express their sentiments on the topic. Indeed, some rose to speak who had not planned to speak, so genuine was Scarboro’s appeal.

In my opinion, every single person who addressed the board that evening spoke from the heart in a constructive way with a focus on the best interests of all of our children and their education.

Each speaker had a unique and important perspective as to what the board should consider in selecting our next superintendent, and there were also some attributes that I heard mentioned by more than one speaker, such as:

■ A positive, visionary, engaging leadership style.

■ A presence in the schools and a relationship with classroom teachers that nurtures open communications, supports them in overcoming their obstacles, and includes their professional input about matters of education.

■ And an integral presence within and across all elements of the community that will result in knowledge gained and involvement garnered from the community that will help improve our education system.

While we must wait to see the real evidence of citizen input on the selection of our new superintendent, I do not see how anyone who attended this public hearing could leave without feeling optimistic about our board’s good faith effort to intelligently launch this search and make a good selection in the end.