Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Editorial: Schools must choose right board member

Mansfield City Schools should move quickly to find a quality school board member to take over for George Rusiska, who resigned last month.

It appears the current board plans to do just that.

Eligible applicants will be interviewed Sept. 28, after which, finalists for a second round of interviews will be selected.

Board members hope to have a new member in October.

For whatever reason, Rusiska kept his board seat until the beginning of the school year. This makes it imperative that the district find an effective leader to finish his term, which ends Dec. 31, 2011.

As the new board works to put the right person in place, we urge members to do everything in their power to build unity on the board, but also to select an individual who will represent the values we demand in our school.

Mansfield City Schools draws its students from a largely urban area. The board must recognize this as it interviews possible board members.

Schools Superintendent Dan Freund said recently, “All children are capable of learning if we give them what they need.”

He’s also set some common sense goals that include 100 percent of students reading and computing math by the end of third grade, 100 percent of eighth-graders passing algebra and 100 percent of high school graduates career- or college-ready.

This is all possible if we have the right people in place.

A quick look at the power players in Mansfield City Schools includes five school board members, one treasurer and one district administrator.

Four of those seven key members are new within the last year, and a fifth is expected to be appointed quickly.

This major change in leadership brings with it great promise for our local schools, but it also carries the risk of confusion, chaos and distrust.

As the district enters this unique new era, we urge leaders to put behind them the bad feelings fostered during the last decade of ineffective leadership.

Setting high, achievable standards should be a top priority of our elected leaders. It appears the stage is being set to do that.