On Monday and Tuesday, the TCAPS board virtually interviewed the two finalists for the superintendent position. The two finalists are Dr. John VanWagoner of Alpena and Dr. Denise Herrmann of Roseville, California. Both of the candidates have strong credentials, and they would both be good hires.
It’s rather optimistic that the candidates have 100-day plans given that Ann Cardon lasted 84 days. They should be explaining their 85-day plans instead.
Takeaways from VanWagoner’s interview:
- Dr. VanWagoner thinks we can lobby state and federal governments for additional school funding instead of making budget cuts. In other words, he thinks Uncle Larry will fix it. Someone needs to tell him that Uncle Larry doesn’t have a lot of pull anymore, and Uncle Wayne was the one talking about budget cuts in the first place.
- Dr. VanWagoer kissed the brass ring of The Blueprint well enough, but he probably paid a little bit too much respect to Calhoun ISD for any board members who still have ambitions with Grant Chandler.
- He used the word “seat time waiver.” We’re TCAPS. We don’t need no stinkin seat time waivers.
- Interesting that he’s been in Alpena only four years. Is TCAPS a stepping stone? Does he have bigger aspirations? You know, like the ones Paul Soma had too but never fulfilled?
About Dr. Denise Herrmann’s interview
Dr. Herrmann talked about building relationships and a united purpose. She also used the word Blueprint, so she hit that buzzword.
It’s interesting to me that people have been harping on Dr. Herrmann’s resigning from her last district but they’re not harping on the fact that VanWagoner wants to leave to his current district after only four years. You would think that they would value a person’s ability to quit given what happened with Ann Cardon.
Dr. Herrmann resigned from her current position in April, 2020. Her resignation came immediately after her being named a finalist for the TCAPS job.
You’ll recall that several board members harped on the fact that Herrmann is from out of the area. One suggested not even wanting to expend the funds to fly someone to interview from the strange land of California when they could just drive down from Alpena. Maybe Herrmann resigned in order to show her sincerity in her TCAPS application, especially since that seemed to be the biggest doubt in her application. Second, the news article says that she was on leave at the time of her resignation. People go on leave for personal reasons. In Herrmann’s interview, she talks about her husband’s death. Maybe she resigned in order to allow her school district to move forward, and because it was the right thing to do. All of these things should weigh in Herrmann’s favor, not against her.
Here is Kelly Hall suggesting that a superintendent resigning is no biggie:
Hall says: “If the Board and the Superintendent part ways, it would not be a tragedy that ruins the organization. Sometimes things don’t work out.” That was in the context of Ann Cardon. But in the context of Dr. Herrmann resigning, all of a sudden it’s a biggie?
Also from Kelly Hall:
What do the TCAPS establishment supporters, like Kelly Hall and others, have to gain from their disapproval of Herrmann? Is it sour grapes that Jame McCall didn’t make the cut? Is the suggestion of mending fences too much for people who want to continue to be divisive?
I believe that Dr. VanWagoner will get the job. While he’s no Paul Soma, or Jame McCall, I believe he will maintain the status quo while giving Blueprint lip service to challenging the status quo. Doing so is why he will survive at TCAPS. However, Dr. Herrmann is probably what TCAPS needs.
What are your predictions? Tell us about it in the comments.