Superintendent Candidates Revealed

Ask and ye shall receive.

Bob Gibson has obtained some names and background information on the superintendent candidates, to the apparent displeasure of the school board, who want the candidates to be secret. Those candidates are Orange County superintendent William Crawford, Caroline County assistant superintendent Rosa Atkins, and an unnamed New England area educator. The former two are black, the latter is a white male. Interviews with associates of the two named candidates seem to indicate that they’re qualifies and well-liked.

Gibson also reveals that school officials are visiting each applicant’s communities to investigate the candidates, which is a significant improvement over the flying-blind approach that led to the hire of Scottie Griffin.

3:05pm Update: I’m told that Crawford pulled his name from the running earlier this week, meaning that there’s just two candidates in the running now. Of course, the school board is still confirming nothing.

17 thoughts on “Superintendent Candidates Revealed”

  1. I would like to echo Waldo’s previous comment on the search. We should have balanced confidentiality (certainly needed for the 61 original applicants) with common sense: by stating at the outset that we would reveal the names of the finalists. (Did the School Board really think that finalists could tour our schools and that no one would figure out who some of them were? Is it fair to Mrs. Rosa Atkins that we know her name, can google her past, and call contacts in Caroline, Richmond, and Henrico for references; but the mystery man from the north remains a mystery? Anybody know who he is?) Would we lose some candidates with this more open process? Perhaps. But some of those we may lose may include candidates who are just six months into their latest job, who have lawsuits pending, and/or a string of one-year jobs on their resumes. Sunshine at this stage of the superintendent selection process would be a good thing for Charlottesville. (Memo to the forthcoming elected school board: transparency is almost always a good thing for the School Board and the community.)

    Memo to the current School Board: There is no savior our there who will close the achievement gap next year or graduate all of our current 9th graders. There are just better and worse candidates for the superintendent’s job. Pick a good one, please. (With this finalist pool, it’s hard to figure why Mr. Tim Flynn didn’t make the cut.) We need a superintendent who will direct our resources to the classroom, who will hire and retain good principals, and who will insist that our principals hire and retain good teachers. If we are to look anywhere for quick fixes, how about a long frank gaze at Central Office? Here’s a quick comparison between our division and that of Caroline County, where Mrs. Atkins is currently employed: both divisions are roughly equivalent in size (Caroline: ~3800 students, CCS: ~3900), Caroline: 35 central admin employees (1 super, 1 assistant super, 2 directors, 31 support staff); CCS: 66 employees in Central Office (1 Acting Super, 1 Assoc. Super, 5 Directors, 59 support staff). It is budget time, C’villians. On the table are plans to cut many teachers and instructional assistants (most from the elementary schools), cut the swimming program at Walker, cut the dance program at CHS. Memo to the Mayor and City Council: please insist that we take the money needed for teacher raises from Central Office, not from our students.

    Memo to Waldo: how about another run for City Council, or a run for the School Board?

  2. Memo to Waldo: how about another run for City Council, or a run for the School Board?

    Heck no. :) I live in the county now. I don’t expect I’ll ever live in the city again, what with having recently gotten married to a girl who doesn’t want to live in the city. (Plus, it’s really too expensive to live in town.) Besides, as long as we’ve got guys like Dave Norris running for office, there ain’t no need for me to run for a thing.

  3. This is just a note about the Orange County update… I don’t know whether anyone saw Paul Merrill’s disgusting display on channel 29, but I was appalled at his unprofessionalism. (Maybe I’m the only loser who caught the broadcast.) He waved around the DP, which had Bob Gibson’s original article on the superintendent finalists, and advised viewers not to believe everything they read. Well, Paul… where did you get the original information? Did you confirm anything yourself, or did you get it directly from another news source that you failed to properly give credit to the first time around? I should admit, I’m a huge fan (and friend) of Bob Gibson, so some of this comes at his defense. But it seems ridiculous to me that a “professional” reporter could take such a cheap shot at someone who’s been covering this place for longer than Paul has been alive. I’m getting sick of Merrill’s sensationalist way of reporting anyway, but this was the last straw in terms of his credibility. Everyone else there- Annie Sholz, Mark O’Brien, Kristina Cruise, Henry Graff, etc.- is FAR more professional, and they shouldn’t be reduced to the lowest common denomenator.

  4. Ditto jkm17’s comment. I can’t believe none of the adults at 29 didn’t stop such a ridiculuous piece of “reporting.”

  5. “Ridiculous piece of reporting?” No matter what Mr. Merrill had to say, he attributed “don’t believe everything you read” to members of the school board. Members of the board blasted the Progress for its lack of fact-checking.

    “Sensationalist Reporting?” Why not point out members of the media who screw up? NBC29 and the Progress aren’t in bed together… THEY’RE COMPETITORS. The Progress attempted to squeak out a lead in the race to learn who the finalists are for the school board. They fell square on their face with inaccurate information.

    Finally— jkm17, you ask respect be given to someone who’s been covering this area for years ? Give me a break. Get yourself to a course on journalism, get a reality check and lastly, compete for information at the level 29, 16, 19 and the papers are on, and then see if respect is due when a story is inaccurate, false, misleading and embarrassing.

  6. The Progress attempted to “squeak out” a lead in the race to learn who the finalists are for the school board?????
    Are you kidding me? The only reason 29 even had a story to report was because of the Progress. The same goes for most of 29’s stories. I encourage everyone to read the Progress and see how quickly its stories are picked up by 29 a day later. Without the Progress, 29’s broadcasts would be almost all national and international wire stories. The only time 29 credits the Progress is when they think they’ve “got” them. Otherwise it’s “29 has learned…”
    And speaking of screwing up, did anyone catch Merrill’s 2-day long correction last week about Cville’s affordable housing bill that he somehow concluded would give the city the power of eminent domain?
    Oh yeah, cvilletransplant is definitely at 29. He/she posted some serious inside information about the firing of their weather man a while back.

  7. Whether or not Bob Gibson got the story wrong is yet to be determined. As I recall from the Saturday correction, the school board chair said that Mr. Crawford withdrew his name from consideration for the Cville super slot sometime between when he visited CHS on Wednesday and Friday. 11:59 pm?

  8. HACK—

    Who are you to designate my affiliation? I’m not with “anyone.” How off-the-beat you are with this and your comments. Neither make sense and miss the point of my original post.

  9. I hope cvilletransplant is not Paul Merrill, because if it is, one would think it’s highly unethical — and most likely, a violation of NBC29 policy — to state opinions in a blog about stories this reporter has covered for the station. It is among the most precious of the profession’s tenets to remain objective both on and off the job.

    I’d also like to add that attacks by members of a TV station on a newspaper staff (or vice versa) in the public domain — TV or the newspaper — are highly unprofessional.

  10. Bernie, you should have witnessed the great Hook/C-Ville Weekly wars several years ago, when The Hook first started. It was a mess. Pages and pages of each publication’s employees anonymously attacking the other publication. That was about the time when I instituted logins.

  11. Waldo, do you think a blog such as yours should be used to expose a reporter’s opinions about the stories he covers?

  12. I have no idea. Never been to j-school. I’m not a journalist. Never have pretended to be. FWIW, I generally don’t know who folks are on the site. Most people sign up with a non-descript e-mail address.

    I’m of the belief that there’s too much neutrality in media on the whole now — I’d love to see more publications and journalists have opinions on things and state them, where appropriate, ensuring that the public knows which paper is liberal, which is conservative, etc. Like in England. But that is a far, far larger discussion than the one at hand. :)

  13. I’m late to this discussion, but…

    On the superintendent options: I’m glad that we know who they are and that the community has a chance to assist the School Board with the vetting – at a minimum, with discovering whether we have another corrupt, toxic whack-job among the finalists. I advocated this during the Griffin fiasco, and I think it’s fantastic we have this information now. We do not need to conduct final negotiations/selection in the media, but it is nice to know who’s being looked at.

    DuckTroller – I love your budget analysis of Caroline vs. C’ville school systems. This has long been the biggest embarrassment about the CCS. We need a sweep of middle management, badly; those payroll funds need to go into teacher salary raises, and classroom/contact positions. To drag the tax assessment thread into this one: we need to really shine some light on the CCS and City Government budgets. I have long been of the opinion that we have a lot of do-nothing titles/positions in both.

    C’ville-Weekly/Hook controversy – heh…yeah, that was an UGLY ‘divorce’, wasn’t it. I’m just impressed there is a enough going on in our Metro area to support both papers during a period of reduced advertising budgets nationally. Maybe on the ‘micro’ level, such ‘macro’ trends don’t apply.

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