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.
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.
IT AIN’T OVER TIL IT’S OVER
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.