Watkins and Hill Win Board Seats

Michelle Watkins has won the board seat for District 1 defeating Laurie McCaulley.

Pam Hill has won the board seat for District 5 defeating Carlos Mathews.

This is the best night for students and teachers our city has seen for the past five years. It is my hope that tonight marks the beginning of the end of the rubber stamp board of education.

From the day I began writing about the school board five years ago, I made it clear that I had one goal: to have board members who asked questions and insisted upon reason-based answers. I do not want board members who agree with everything I think. I simply want board members who will do their jobs.

I am hopeful, for the first time in a long time, that beginning in October (when the new board members will take their seats), our city will have at least two board members who will finally take seriously their responsibility “to administer and supervise the public schools.”

To Ms. Watkins and Ms. Hill, thank you.

You have both demonstrated your willingness to stand up, speak truth to power, and defend those who are voiceless in our schools. This is what a board member should do. I am hopeful for the first time in a long time that our schools will finally have board members who will do exactly that.

Our children deserve nothing less. Our teachers deserve nothing less. Our city deserves nothing less.

Oh, and one more thing. This is why I love this country: even when the deck is stacked against you, even when the money, power, and influence are working against you, even though we were “licked one hundred years before we started,” Voting Still Matters, and a small noisy group of parents can make a difference.

And now we begin to make things right.

"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.


  1. Bravo, Russell! If you had not kept on digging for the truth, citizens of Hunsville would not have realized just how controlling and manipulative Wardynski is and what a detriment he has been to this school system. Now perhaps teachers and parents can voice concerns without having to pay a price down the road.

    Huntsville owes you a great debt of gratitude.
    Thank you!

    1. Not at all, Marikay. It’s our amazing teachers, like yourself, who deserve all our thanks for continuing to stand up and teach our kids for these past five difficult years.

  2. Well said Russell. I’m sure they won’t let us down. Keep up the good work.

  3. It is the best thing that has happened in years! The students and teachers will be respected once more!

  4. Being a noisy parent is something I take pride in in achieving a better education for our kids. I just wish everyone took it as seriously as I do, unfortunately some parents have thrown in the towel this year and moved to homeschooling.

  5. History confirms that systems fail when the news media fails to ask hard questions of elected officials, and parents are too busy to become involved in their child’s education, and teachers are too intimidated to voice their concerns. Administrators who are not held accountable by those charged with oversight responsibilities, will always abuse their office for personal gain … otherwise, there would be no need of public oversight by elected officials. These truths … so intuitively obvious … yet so devastating … when ignored.

    Russell, thank you for making difficult decisions … and fighting the good fight for our children … our future.

  6. Thank you for being the media we wish we had instead of the media we have Russell Winn. Thank you for informing us and telling us what we needed to know in order to make informed decisions. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for being a “Ripple in the Water” The media told us what they wanted us to know, that’s why our school district is in this state. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of an error (pun intended). Again, thanks for all you did, and all you will do in the future.

  7. There’s a rumor going around via the teachers that Wardnyski is being replaced after new Grissom opens with a Superintendent from Massachusetts. Have you heard anything about this? I’m ready to throw a party!

    1. No. I haven’t heard this, but if it’s true, it’s a huge violation for the board to privately decide who will be the next superintendent.

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