Walton County Schools

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by DaleDalbey, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Alicia Leonard

    Alicia Leonard SoWal Insider

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    You have no interest in the entire picture, just the side you want to portray. Thanks for the confirmation. :thanks:

    Unlike some, I have no reason to hide my name. I have no motive to do so. So, I'm sure you are the most trustworthy with the "facts," being anonymous and all. And really, that last sentence, using insight twice? Tsk, tsk, doesn't work for me. Now, I'm done with the catty and unproductive. Are you?

    The last two board meetings have been unusually short. Why? They were Special Meetings, called to approve things like travel for kids and such. They don't do the pledge, or prayer and the meetings are meant to be handled in a quick manner. There were one, maybe two people in the audience. Were you there? They were not the "official board meeting." The board has held one longer meeting at the first of the month, and called three shorter special meetings this month.

    The truth of the matter and record is "sometimes they do vote to approve her recommendations and sometimes they don't." Often it's a split vote. The board is designed to approve or deny the superintendent's request, not to be the driving force behind policy as it's discussed in this thread. No matter what the last name of the person who is the superintendent, the board will work in much the same way, because of its design. I'm not sure besides, not hiring teachers or staff or denying kids transport to games, that you think the board denying the last two meeting's requests would accomplish?

    Oh, and in the interest of fairness and truth as far as meetings go, I'll be happy to burn a cd for anyone who can't attend the meeting, or email them a mp3 file so they can hear it themselves. Here's the link to the agenda. Anyone can download the packet the board receives and see all the items they see as well as the shorter agenda. http://www.walton.k12.fl.us/board/minutes/copy of Default.aspx

    I think it's great that parents are passionate about and involved with their child's education, I applaud all of you.

    I attend almost all of these meetings and it takes a great deal of work from many, many teachers and staff to put all of this information together to be presented to the board and I think the board may move back to the two, long-meeting schedule they held for many years in the afternoon. Maybe more people can attend in person and be involved.

    My last point is the board and superintendent are all equally elected positions. To suggest the one elected official has some type of sway or hold over five independently elected other officials is in my opinion just not feasible or realistic. The positions were made this way to be balanced and so no one of the six has any more sway than the others. With the newly elected member coming on soon, we may see the dynamic of the board change. It will be interesting to watch and only time will tell.

    I'd like to add personally as a property owner and resident that I wish the Superintendent position was not party affiliated. I was not able to vote in the run-off due to being a registered independent the last 15 yrs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  2. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    Thanks for finally putting the 'shut to the up' to all those complainers who don't ever seem to have facts.
     
  3. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Alicia provides good information to the community because she has the inside scoop and she cares. She has never put the shut to the up to anyone as far as I know. Thanks Alicia for sharing your knowledge of the system with all concerned parents. It is rather complicated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  4. Alicia Leonard

    Alicia Leonard SoWal Insider

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    Ha, I don't know what "shut to the up" means..:cool: lol, but it is complicated and a lot of information for everyone to digest. If you go to the link and look through the board packet, people will understand that hashing out everything line by line would mean most meetings would go on through the night. No one's perfect, but it is a system of checks and balances and board members often go a little rogue and vote in unexpected ways over unexpected items.
     
  5. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    Alicia, thanks for the thoughts. I agree with you about the superintendent being non-partisan. My particular hope would be that it would be a position appointed by an elected board based upon qualifications. That is not a slam at Ms. Anderson. I just think that there is too much potential for politics to be played out in the current situation. As I understand it, a good number of the counties across the state do it that way. Can we ever get all politics out of the school system? Probably not, but it is at least something that should be considered.

    Also, sorry for being catty in an earlier post. You are right. It was unproductive and unnecessary.
     
  6. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    I'm used to the Carlene cheerleaders implying that some of us are not being truthful. However, I have several boxes of documents that will cofirm my assertions. And I'm someone who has attended lots of school board meetings. And I'm a parent. My son graduated from South Walton High School in 2010 and he's now a junior at Florida State University so I have concernes about public education. And I think the superintendent should not be an elected position. Since fewer than 1% of school superintendents in the US are elected, I'm not alone in my feelings on that issue. Also, I don't trust any politician who took $6,000 in campaign contributions in 2008 from an individual who was involved in a scheme to get $6 million in public education funds for an airplane hanger. And I'd be happy to join a public forum and I'll bring what I have and others can bring what they have since those of us who feel we need a change are supposed to be liars. I can back up what I say.
     
  7. Alicia Leonard

    Alicia Leonard SoWal Insider

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    Thank you for responding in such a nice way, WP. I don't have a "dog in this fight" as they say, but do hope that parents and kids get the best education and teachers they can in Walton. I am always amazed at the amount of politics in many of our government offices. If I can ever be of service to you, WP, please don't hesitate to reach out.:wave:
     
  8. Alicia Leonard

    Alicia Leonard SoWal Insider

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    Jp, I'm not sure who you are responding to, but my conversation was between WP and myself only and not directed at anyone else. Wanted to make that clear. Thx.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  9. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Just heard a snippet on NPR: "... Yes, we need better teachers. But more than that we need better parents.".

    Makes sense, even though we already have outstanding teachers. The way they are apparently treated as a contractor, hired by the year, concerns me a great deal. You get what you pay for. Sounds like we are not making the necessary kind of investment that is needed to attract and keep the best of the best teachers.

    As for parents, positive & supportive participation in their children's education is everything. Not sure if involvement is truly encouraged by schools these days but it is so important. At every grade level through high school. It is sometimes hard to do with busy lives and jobs. More often than not we get what we give. We have to contribute, participate, have high expectations for education and help achieve them.

    Most of you here are involved and that is why you have concerns. And you certainly should. It seems that our education system is undergoing more and more change. But it is sometimes hard to determine whether these changes are for the good or not.
     
  10. meggiemom

    meggiemom Beach Lover

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    Are you an employee of the school district?
     
  11. Alicia Leonard

    Alicia Leonard SoWal Insider

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    No, I am not. I'm assistant editor and a reporter for the DeFuniak Herald Beach Breeze. Attending meetings and writing them up is part of my job.:wave: And I got into this conversation because I made an innocent comment about it being the boards's discretion on setting the public speaking time:blush:.

    But let me add, I am always open and receiving to parents, teachers, staff or just anyone that wants to talk to me on or off the record. I report the school board meetings to the best of my ability as they are just one of the boards and duties I cover. Hence my offer to share my recordings or cd's of meetings that I receive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  12. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Hi meggiemom. Alicia is a writer/reporter and covers a great deal going on within Walton County. And she is very smart and just cool.
     
  13. Alicia Leonard

    Alicia Leonard SoWal Insider

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    I couldn't imagine the stress that contract work brings to employees unless that is what they want. What would be necessary to change the position of superintendent from elected to hired? County charter? I'm not sure myself how well it would work, but I am always open to new lines of thought and ways of doing things if they don't work.
     
  14. Alicia Leonard

    Alicia Leonard SoWal Insider

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    I heart you, Toots!
     
  15. ann watson

    ann watson Banned

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    Unfortunately, we can't give all children good parents. Most of my teaching career was in schools where children didn't have the advantages of an ideal home. They were children in low income and single parent households and it was my job not only to teach but encourage them to want to learn and better themselves. I always felt that the children in my classes were like my children. While I take pride in the successes of my own children, it was very rewarding to see my students succeed in life. A few years ago a young man stopped me in the supermarket and recognized me from first grade. He was in medical school. Little things like that make my years as an educator worthwhile. I only wish I had the opportunity to continue.
     
  16. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    Ann, you were obviously a good teacher. At my very advanced age, I still remember the names of three teachers who affected my life. I have been grateful to them ever since high school. A word about Alicia. She is a fine reporter as is one of he compatriots, Dottie. They don't slant the news as so many do now days. They merely report it which is what good journalists are suppose to do. Too bad there are not more like them around.
     
  17. Alicia Leonard

    Alicia Leonard SoWal Insider

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    :wub: Thank you, Andy. That means a lot to me. Very nice of you to say. :wave:

    Ann, like Andy, I have had many teachers and mentors that have helped me along the way. I will forever be grateful for them as they helped me in ways that just a book or a test never could.
     
  18. meggiemom

    meggiemom Beach Lover

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    This might be something that the press might follow up on. A unemployed teacher friend found an opening for a teacher at a Walton County elementary school and it seems that the principal intends to hire a substitute until an intern finishes school in December and then the intern can be hired under contract. Sounds like nepotism to me. But, knowing how the school district is run I'm sure it's legal.
     
  19. Alicia Leonard

    Alicia Leonard SoWal Insider

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    I'm happy to report anything of substance, Meggiemom. And when I say substance, I mean anything that people are willing to "go on record" with. I need people who are willing to speak with me and be quoted on the record. Same for school board meetings. I can only quote those that speak during the meeting or during the public comments of the meeting, or parents that will speak on the record after the meeting. Anyone can email me at alicia@defuniakherald.com or call my office at 892-3232. I'd be happy to speak with your friend and if she feels comfortable going on the record, I'll ask the school their side, and I can submit that.

    Parents, concerned citizens, residents, anyone that wants to have a say are always welcome to write a letter to the editor as well. That is the place for opinion ;-). All we ask is you to sign your name, town and leave contact info, like a cell or hm. number so we can verify the letter. We love letters! We do reserve the right to edit for space or content. But all we have had to do recently is edit for political endorsements. By this I mean we welcome all opinion and you can certainly say they are doing a good or bad job, but ask that writers stop short of endorsements. You can email it to dfsherald@gmail.com and mark it Att: Letter to the Editor. Only your name and town run in the print edition and my editor welcomes discussion.

    If someone has a candidate they would like to endorse, we'd be happy to sell them ad space. Anyone can do this and we have great rates. We've printed some doozies in the past and sometimes not even during election season.

    I just wanted to share all the ways everyone has in sharing their voice in the local press. Our web site is here: http://defuniakherald.com/ and our Fb site: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DeFuniak-Herald-Beach-Breeze/276530294617 and we welcome people reaching out to us with their concerns and opinions :wave:
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  20. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    What is the Rader Group, Rader Inc. and what is it's relationship with the school district?
     

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