Problems are water under the bridge

After a few miserable years in Marysville education, when our teachers were demonized by the district administration – with Superintendent Linda Whitehead at the lead – we have a chance to turn the page. The stubborn childishness of district administration and the teachers’ union forced a 49-day strike (it takes two to fight, ask anyone) punishing students, citizens and, yes, our classroom teachers.

Last year when the levy and bond failed the first time, the administration held community meetings. Each group of citizens participated in discussions about why these measures failed. Every diverse group had members that voiced concerns about mistrust of Whitehead’s leadership and fiscal irresponsibility. Ignoring this, the board extended Whitehead’s contract, securing failure of any future bond effort and ultimately costing us an increase in buyout funds.

The fact remains this is “water under the bridge.” Now we have a chance to put the past behind us and rebuild our embattled district. The search for new leadership is on. The new board members have initiated talks about a citizens’ advisory committee that will discuss important issues, offering recommendations to district leadership. The group is not meant to agree, nor tell the board members what they want to hear. Their charge will be to report what citizens hear on the sidewalks, in the grocery stores and at our kids’ sports, dance and other functions from other parents and concerned citizens about our schools.

The board wants our input! It is refreshing to see and hear less of what the leadership wants to do “to us,” and more about what it can do “with us.” That is democracy. That is effective leadership.


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