Contract creates discussion

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The 5-2 vote on a motion made by the Charlotte County School Board to not renew the contract of Superintendent of Charlotte County Public Schools Dr. Nancy Leonard as of July 1, 2019 has created discussion among community members who speak in favor of the decision and those who oppose the motion.

Members of the school board are tasked with making decisions — some difficult — with the intent of keeping the school division running to best educate the county’s students.

Members of the public share this intent, and this determines the school board members that they vote in at election time, and it determines the ways that they actively participate within the school system, either as employees, parents or both.

This sense of involvement and responsibility that the community has toward its children’s education is precisely why more transparency is needed in the wake of this enormous decision by members of the school board.

Red Oak/Wylliesburg District School Board Member Teresa Dunaway said the vote was done in an open session after the closed session.

“Of course I cannot discuss what went on in the closed meeting, but it was several people waiting when we finished. Since it was a vote, it had to be done in the open for the public that stayed,” she said.

The motion was made by Bacon/Saxe District School Board Member JonPaul Berkley.

“Good work is being done in Charlotte County schools, which I outlined tonight at the meeting,” said Leonard on Jan. 9. “I am proud of the progress that we have made, and we will keep on doing great things for children. I just won’t be a part of the team after July of 2019, but I am confident that the successes that we have had are sustainable and will continue.”

People can speculate about the reasons for this decision. However, to best determine whether this and future decisions will truly benefit the school division and its students, we at The Gazette hope that more information will be disclosed as to the reason for the vote and to actions going forward.