Jame McCall Out in TCAPS Shocker

Tonight, the TCAPS board voted to move two candidates forward in the superintendent hiring process. In a shocking move, establishment fan-favorite Jame McCall was not selected to move ahead. Dr. John VanWagoner and Dr. Denise Herrmann are the finalists who will have another interview for the top spot.

Sue Kelly smiles in happier times

jame mccall eliminated from superintendent search with 7 votes

Jame McCall received 7 votes. 5 different board members gave McCall at least one vote. The way the voting works, each board member gives 3 points to their top choice, 2 to their second choice, and 1 vote to their third choice. With 7 votes from 5 people, there are two different ways that could have happened: One person voted for McCall with 3 votes and there other four board members gave her one vote each; or two people gave McCall 2 votes each, and the other three board members gave her 1 vote each. The second-place candidate received 9 votes and therefore moved ahead of McCall.

Jane Klegman tried to call for a revote after the vote. She wanted to revote for the number two candidate. However, Sue Kelly also looked unsatisfied after the vote, too. So it’s not easy to guess as to how the vote went down and who gave the most points to McCall. As much as Sue Kelly looked visibly unhappy with the vote, Erica Moon-Mohr didn’t do a very good job of hiding her approval.


One of the board members, I can’t remember which one it was, added that in other hiring processes, sometimes the board isn’t happy with either candidate after final interviews. This board member wanted to leave open the possibility of not being satisfied with either of the final candidates and then turning elsewhere.

Does Sue Kelly remind anyone else of Carole Baskin?

During the discussion, Erica Moon-Mohr talked about several of the candidates. Then she said some negative things about McCall. Sue Kelly replied by asking Moon-Mohr whether she was going to say anything about the other candidates, or just say bad things about McCall. Moon-Mohr brushed it off.

The TCAPS Standards of Governance document dated January 27, 2020 says that board members must conduct their business with respect. The document also contains language that board business should be conducted in a way that is “collegial, collaborative, and professional.” That language is attributed to none other than Grant Chandler himself. Is Sue Kelly being respectful, collegial and professional when she takes swipes at Erica Moon-Mohr? Would Grant Chandler approve of Kelly behaving in that manner? At the least, Kelly’s comments aren’t helpful.

Also of note, Kelly repeatedly referenced wanting staff members to meet and interact with the final candidates. It was interesting that she never suggested that the public meet with the final candidates. She made several mentions to wanting staff members to have access. Kelly seems to be missing the fact that they serve students, parents and the unaffiliated members of the community just as much as teachers and other staff. Kelly also suggested conducting future board meetings either without the public or with only staff members invited and the public kept at bay.

In other words, they might have won a round, but concerned members of the TCAPS reform movement can’t afford to let their guard down when it comes to Sue Kelly. It’s not over until the new superintendent lasts more than 78 days.

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1 thought on “Jame McCall Out in TCAPS Shocker”

  1. Klegman’s “Wait… What???????” reaction at the April 27th meeting said everything.

    She, along with the other board members, agreed to a process to move forward the two candidates who receive the most points from their “ranked-in-order-of-preference” votes. But as soon as she heard that McCall was not in the top two, she immediately wanted to change the process.

    Klegman, you may have seen your question as innocent and harmless, but it was not. It showed that you were willing to change an agreed-upon process when your preference did not make the cut, and a candidate who received no vote from you whatsoever did.

    Klegman, if you ever wonder why many in the community do not trust the current TCAPS school board — this is why.

    Now… Forton’s remarks about bringing in a candidate “all the way from California” with a concern about cost? What was that about?

    Let’s do the math on this, Forton.

    Hotel costs will be the same for both candidates whether that candidate is from California or Alpena. Meal costs will be the same for both candidates whether that candidate is from California or Alpena.

    It’s likely that the candidate from Alpena will drive his own car over to Traverse City, so he will incur costs associated with fuel and mileage for his trip over that the candidate from California will not.

    I suspect the board members will share the duties of transporting the candidates while they are in town. So, costs associated with this are exactly the same.

    This only leaves the airline ticket from California to TVC that will be an additional cost to the board in this process. So, what are we talking here… $650? Maybe $700 max. All other costs will be the same for both candidates (except for the additional cost of the Alpena candidate’s fuel and mileage for driving across state.)

    Let’s recap, then: Forton is concerned about spending somewhere between $650 – $700 because this candidate is “all the way from California?”

    Didn’t the board just spend north of $20,000 to search for the best possible candidate to replace Soma last year? Then when the candidate they hired resigned after a very short time on the job, at her own will – if we are to believe the board’s transparency on this, the board decided to express their gratitude to her for her service and voluntary departure with $180,000, and a request that she keeps her mouth shut. And then the board spends another $20,000-ish to do a search all over again? Oh wait, I forgot about the costs of Pavelka as interim, instead of simply asking one of the associate superintendents, or any other administrator already within TCAPS to fill-in as designee.

    Geez, Forton — $650 – $700 for a plane ticket “all the way from California” just seems so small of a cost to even raise a concern about in a public, open meeting when compared to the HUGE amount of costs you have already spent into this circus of a process — adding up to something like $250,000?

    Let me say it another way that you *might* understand given the fact that you were a mathematics teacher…

    $650-$700 < [Two Superintendent Searches] + [$180,000 "Thank You For Your Service, Ann- Who Departed Voluntarily"] + [Pavelka's Substitute Superintendent Costs]

    Like Klegman, Forton's "all the way from California" remarks are totally asinine and show – in a very transparent way – the precise reason why several of the board's current members are viewed with suspicion and mistrust.

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