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Web letter by Marcia Geller: EACS board member’s tirade undercuts efforts at reform

At the April 23 special East Allen County Schools board meeting, board member Bill Hartman lashed out in an extremely unprofessional tirade at the new board members. It appears he is extremely upset that they are actually doing the job for which they were elected. Members of the audience, as well as board members, were shocked at his vicious attack.

He even went so far as to tell EACS staff members who were present to not respond to even a single question asked by any board member. He stated that any answers might be used against them in the future. He also informed the board members they had no right or authority to ask questions of employees. (Why can he speak to them and other board members are not allowed?)

Board members can’t make an assessment of the situation they are expected to correct without first finding answers about current operating procedures. Why would Hartman not want questions answered? Does he have much to hide about the previous board’s actions? Or, possibly, does he want to keep EACS in continued chaos to further enhance student enrollment at Black Hawk Christian Schools? As superintendent of Blackhawk Christian Schools, this would and has benefited his schools. If the latter is true, then why has he been so critical of Stephen Terry about his association with a local charter school? It possibly could be both. In any case, he has no business telling employees to not be forthcoming about the day-to-day operations in the EACS school system. His attempt to influence staff to be unresponsive to board members should be censured. I think he is the next member who needs to be removed from the EACS board unless he comes to the realization that the public insists on change and he decides to accept a new role of cooperation to facilitate those changes.

The Yost report states that the board should stay out of the day-to-day operations of the school. Most would agree this is advisable. I believe the board should be cognizant of how these operations work in order to make informed decisions in their area of responsibility. I believe Daryl Yost would agree it is necessary to identify the problems in order to correct them. It is merely being a responsible board member to ask questions. Asking how things are done is not interfering with the process. Silence on the part of the staff would be insubordination and an attempt to hide problems brought to the system by the Green administration.

Karyle Green had an extremely undesirable management style. It would greatly benefit our board members to find the areas that need change to inform any new superintendent of any problems he/she might have.

MARCIA GELLER

New Haven

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