Karst Brandsma might make some school system a fine superintendent, but not Everett Public Schools (EPS). His effectiveness as a leader has been compromised by his exercise of poor judgment and demonstrated insensitivity to non-white students and staff. Polishing Dr. Brandsma’s image will not change the fact that to-date he has failed to embrace all students and staff of EPS. Dr. Brandsma’s failure to represent all stakeholders in the past makes him the wrong person to lead EPS into the future.
Dr. Brandsma and his surrogates have already begun the campaign to polish Dr. Brandsma’s image in advance of and during the EPS superintendent selection process. It is difficult to believe that the school board would even consider Dr. Brandsma as a permanent replacement for Carol Whitehead — as some board members have already openly suggested.
This is the same Dr. Brandsma who claimed on more than one occasion to have significant influence with his boss, but seemed always to be in alignment with her systematic disenfranchisement of the underrepresented and underserved students and staff, including students and staff of color.
This is the same Dr. Brandsma who vehemently refused to allow, until severely pressured, a community citizen and EPS students’ mentor to act as guide and interpreter for a group of EPS parents whose primary language is not English.
This is the same Dr. Brandsma who, as EPS representative, committed to bring 200 students of color to the Everett Community College Students of Color Career Conference in each of the years 2006 and 2007; he did not do so and he failed to provide timely notice to conference planners. On one occasion Dr. Brandsma used winter weather conditions as an excuse not to bring students to the conference; yet, Snohomish County school districts north, east and west were able to provide transportation for their students.
This is the same Dr. Brandsma who authorized surveillance of a veteran teacher at Cascade High School. Then, he supposedly misplaced the evidence.
In his seven years as second in command, Dr. Brandsma has shown the EPS community his true colors and the Everett community deserves better.