Full Confidence

Jun 14, 2017

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to a recent letter by a member of the community (“Another Agenda,” 5/24) in regard to the Stafford Township Board of Education, of which I am a member. In the normal course of events I would not speak out, but because of the demeaning tone toward the board in this letter, I could not remain silent.

Let me first explain what our role as board members is. Each of us is elected by the residents of Stafford Township to serve a three-year term. All nine of us on the board take our responsibilities very seriously, helping plan the education of our community’s youth. As a board we focus on the ends – that is, vision, goals and policy. What? Why? How well? How much? The superintendent (as CEO) focuses on means – objectives, plans, actions and recommendations. How? When? Where? By whom?

In other words, the board oversees the education of students, but does not directly run the day-to-day operations of the district. That is the responsibility of the superintendent, building principals and department supervisors, all of whom have the utmost character and integrity. Any time personnel decisions are made, it is only through a collaborative effort with the above-mentioned people being a part of that process. We trust these people, our administrative team, to make the right decisions.

As board members, we do not direct personnel decisions for the district; that is not our area of responsibility. We are not micromanagers. We are made aware of impending personnel decisions through committee hearings well in advance of regular board meetings. Also, because of confidentiality laws regarding personnel decisions, such decisions cannot and will not be discussed in a public forum. All of us have full confidence in our superintendent, principals, department supervisors and, most of all, our teachers.

As a teacher myself, I want to assure the community that we have the utmost respect and admiration for all of our teachers. To suggest otherwise is simply wrong. I myself have visited all of our schools this year several times to shake as many hands as I could, and to express our thanks as a board to our teaching staff. Finally, as a board we welcome, and indeed encourage, feedback from the community.

Mike Hemenway, president

Stafford Township Board of Education


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