Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Officer elections by the school board

At last night's school board meeting the annual election of officers was conducted near the end of the meeting.   (See at (2:20:08))

About a month ago I noticed an inconsistency in Board Policy BD, which states that "the elections will be conducted by the superintendent, who will preside and act as temporary chairman at the meeting until a chairman is elected." Therein lies the problem.

Paragraph 2 reads, "Elected officers will take their positions immediately upon completion of the election."

The first election is for the office of Board Chair. Does the newly-elected Chair take office as soon as elected and then conduct the elections for Vice Chair and Secretary?

Chair Agostini excused herself from the meeting and turned the meeting over to Supt. Gregory to conduct the elections. Supt. Gregory read Policy BD which states, in part, that "Officers will be elected by majority vote of the board using paper ballots unless there is a single nominee, in which case a show of hands will be used."

Niki Porter nominated Monica Scott for Chair. Angela Nash nominated Joe Trapp.

The trustees already had color-coded ballots and were directed to use the purple ballots for the election of the Chair. 

Monica Scott then spoke up without asking to be recognized. She requested that trustees write their names on their ballots "so that we would know how the votes go." Supt. Gregory initially agreed. WHOA! WHAT DID SHE ASK? 

Trustee McFadden objected and said it was to be a secret ballot. OF COURSE, IT IS. Monica Scott asked, "What's so secret about it?" That's the whole purpose of a written ballot when there is more than one nominee. 

The ballots were counted off-camera by some unknown person(s). The vote was announced as three votes for Trapp and three votes for Scott. 

Then without asking to be recognized, Scott conceded the election to Joe Trapp. A new vote was taken, and the vote for Trapp was 6-0 (and one person not present). A second vote wasn't really necessary. Because Scott conceded, Trapp was the winner.

At that point, according to Policy BD, Joe Trapp should have taken office and conducted the elections for Vice Chair and Secretary. But Gregory continued.

Trustee Washington nominated Angela Nash for Vice Chair. As the single nominee, a hand vote elected her.

Scott nominated McFadden for Secretary. Porter nominated Washington. Blue ballots were used. Washington was elected 4-2-1 (Yes, No, Not Present at Vote).

At this point the new officers were seated, and Joe Trapp conducted the balance of the meeting.

Watch Board Announcement of New Supt.

Be sure to watch the portion of the June 27, 2023 school board meeting, when the successful candidate for superintendent is announced. The board had met in a second Executive Session, and it reconvened in open session at this point (2:10:30) in the livestream recording at 

The board then addressed the naming of the new superintendent. This time, when Chair Agostini asked for a Motion, there was no delay. Vice Chair Scott, who had served as head of the Superintendent Search Committee, moved that the Board employ Dr. Kim Moore as Superintendent. The Motion was seconded by Trustee McFadden, who was returning to her seat as she seconded the motion.
When discussion was called, no trustees spoke. Chair Agostini stated that she would not support the motion, because she wished the process had gone differently and had not been so rushed. 

Then Trustee Scott launched into a statement of elation at the choice of Dr. Moore, saying "I am giddy, like a little kid in a candy store...," complimenting Dr. Moore on her credentials and her beauty (yes, beauty) and saying tht Dr. Moore will be a mentor to teachers, administrators, cafeteria workers and bus drivers. Seriously? Then she welcomed Dr. Moore with "big hugs" as the first African American female superintendent of Richland School District Two.

Keep in mind that the board had not yet voted.

Scott's comments were during discussion before the vote. She continued, expressing how excited she was to have Dr. Moore "here, to walk alongside me". Kim Moore, as the Superintendent, is the Board's employee! She is not there to walk alongside Scott or any other trustee. Then Scott invited Moore to come to the microphone and let the community hear from her.

Still, the board has not voted. 

Then the board voted 6-1. Motion carried. Then  Scott then invited the "first African-American female superintendent" of the District to the microphone.

Was all that really necessary?

Richland Two was either going to have its first black female superintendent or its second black male superintendent. That choice was clear from the finalists - two black women and one black man. 

Will Moore have the support of the majority of the board to continue down the road of DEI? Unfortunately,  it looks like it from here!