As you know, there are two board seats on the upcoming election on August 28th. I believe that Mrs. Pat King running for District 1 and Mr. Carlos Matthews running for District 5 would both make excellent school board members. A school board member should demonstrate intellectual curiosity (something that has been sorely lacking among our current board), both Mrs. King and Mr. Matthews will bring this to the board. Thus they both receive my endorsement for Huntsville City Schools Board of Education.
The first seat is the District 1 seat currently held by Mrs. Laurie McCaulley. I’ve written in the past about the controversy surrounding the inclusion of the Nepotism policy as a fairly blatant attempt to control who does and who does not run for a school board seat.
(No, I have no idea why the Huntsville Times isn’t covering this issue. Yes, I still subscribe to the Huntsville Times.)
Yes, a split endorsement is as ridiculous as it sounds. It would be nice if HEA could manage to actually take a stand occasionally.
In the second race for the District 5 seat Mrs. Alta Morrison has decided not to run again. Running for her seat are Carlos Matthews and Mike Culbreath. They also split the HEA endorsement. Additionally, Mr. Culbreath is a local real estate developer. In my opinion, the last thing our city needs is for our developers to have more influence on our school board.
Of the six people running for a seat on the board, only three regularly attend board meetings. McCaulley is of course paid to be there. Only Pat King and Carlos Matthews regularly attend the meetings on their own time. I believe that Mike Culbreath might have attended one meeting in the past year. As someone who attends nearly every board meeting (excluding the ones that they don’t actually post until after the meeting occurs, of course), I cannot imagine how someone who doesn’t attend the meetings regularly is in anyway qualified to run for a seat on the board. This alone, in my mind, excludes half of the people from running for the board.
If you don’t care enough to attend the meetings on your own time, you don’t deserve to be paid to attend the meetings.
Pat King and Carlos Matthews care about our schools enough to devote their own time toward helping them improve. Both of these candidates have demonstrated their concern and commitment to our schools over the past year. Both have demonstrated a commitment to asking questions of the Superintendent and the current Board members.
And really, that’s all I’m looking for in a board member: someone who will ask questions and listen, truly listen to the answers before arriving at a decision. This is, after all, the heart of education: intellectual curiosity and a willingness to consider opposing views before arriving at a decision.
Both Pat King and Carlos Matthew have consistently demonstrated a willingness to ask questions and to listen before making a decision. They have both demonstrated to me a willingness to learn. And that above all else is something that our board of education should embody.
If our board members simply accept recommendations without question, as our current board has consistently done for the past year, how can they model intellectual curiosity for our students? Pat King and Carlos Matthews will be excellent role models for our students in this regard.
But just because I’ve offered an endorsement, that doesn’t mean that you need to accept such an endorsement without question. Honestly, such an attitude runs counter to everything that I believe in.
Asking questions isn’t disrespectful; it’s the highest form of respect. Asking questions isn’t rude, uppity, mean, threatening, or intimidating. The ability to ask questions is the single most important gift that we have been given. It is a demonstration of interest and love.
And so, you will have a couple of opportunities to ask questions for yourself of the candidates. See for yourself if their answers lead you to a greater understanding of the truth. Don’t take my word for anything: investigate for yourself. And then vote for the candidate that you believe will do the most for our children, our schools and our community.
One chance that you’ll have to do that with Pat King, will be tomorrow (Sunday, August 12, 2012) at 2:00pm. Mrs. King, along with Mr. Charlie Holley (candidate for U.S. Congressional seat from the 5th District) will host a “Meet and Greet” at 203 Hawks Crest Circle in Madison.
Also, a few days before the election on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 from 5:30 – 7:30pm there will be an additional debate between all the candidates for both school board and mayor at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, 1800 Sparkman Dr.
If you live in these districts (or our city as a whole), you should take the time to inform yourself about those who are running for these seats.
I believe that Pat King and Carlos Matthews will make excellent board members. Who are you planning to support? Let’s talk about it below.