Speaking up for a new superintendent

Published 7:36 pm Friday, November 9, 2018

Social media has become a place for banter, especially when we want to complain. Bad experience at a restaurant? Head to Facebook and let the world know. Disagree with a politician’s decision or statement? Sign into social media and start firing away.

But nothing gets people’s attention quite like education, whether it’s encouraging scores or bad ones. Many of us are parents and nothing is more concerning than our children’s future.

When the Troup County School Board made the decision to move on from Dr. Cole Pugh in August, the news was met with immediate opinion.

Whether or not it was fair, a number of people criticized Pugh for his time as superintendent, and some talked disparagingly about the school board’s handling of the situation.

Any time there’s a change of leadership — especially a superintendent change — there’s going to be a significant amount of talk in the community, as there should be. At the end of the day, people care about their kids and want the right person leading the school system. It’s a topic everyone has an opinion on, and the board is now giving the community a chance to have its say.

TCSS announced community meetings this week, so it can gauge the community’s opinion on qualities needed in the next superintendent. Some of those meetings are specific to a certain group, such as teachers, administrators or business leaders. But there’s a meeting on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the LaGrange High School auditorium that is open to the entire community.

The meeting will be led by McPherson & Jacobson, the firm leading the search for a new superintendent, and will play a vital role in how the school board moves forward in its search.

The board gets criticized often by the public at large, but in this instance, anyone who has been at recent meetings realizes the importance they placed on getting the community involved in the search.

Whoever the new superintendent is, that person’s decisions will be justly and unjustly critiqued for years to come, and that person will play a significant role in the future of the school system. This is a chance for the community to have its opinion heard and to play a part in the search.

Don’t wait for a new superintendent to be hired before weighing in. Now is that time.

Not doing so is akin to not voting in an election. If you complain afterward, it’s too late to really have a say in the process.