Jan. 10, 2013, Jackson. TN - On Thursday the Jackson Madison County School Board met for their regular monthly board meeting.
Due to the interview schedule for the superintendent search the board did not have a work session this month. At Thursday's meeting the board opened with a public comment time which would have normally been on the work session agenda.
Considering the most significant item on the agenda was discussion and possible action on a candidate for Director of Schools, the audience was small. Only about 20 citizens, outside of central office staff and elected officials, attended the meeting.
Public comments centered around either challenging the board to select an African American, encouraging the board to choose from the available candidates and not seek others, or laminting a fear that a repeat of two years ago would occur when no candidate was chosen and many felt the best candidate was passed over because of skin color.
After the public comment time the board got to work on the agenda. It was not long before the issue of superintendent search came up.
Board member Bob Alvey urged the other board members to have discussion about the assets and deficits of each candidate compared to what each board member was looking for in a director. However, other board members felt that conversation had already taken up all the time needed and said they had made up their minds about how they would vote.
Chairman David Clifft explained to the audience that many seemed to be under the impression that tonight's action, whatever it was, could result in hiring a school director which is not the case. It is just the next step in the process.
With that the board members cast their votes. Verna Ruffin received seven votes, Terence Patterson received one vote, Alan Coverstone received no votes. Eight Board members voted, George Neely abstained saying he did not feel confident with any of the candidates. Janice Hampton, the lone Patterson vote changed her vote to Ruffin after the vote count presumably to show support for the majority decision.
After the meeting one of the speakers during the public comment section had these remarks
Photo and Info taken from the Tulsa Public School website
Verna Ruffin, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Achievement Zone/Special Program and Projects
Verna D. Ruffin is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision at the University of Oklahoma. Having served as a music educator, assistant principal, principal, director of secondary education, and Area Superintendent, she currently is Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education and Student Services in Tulsa Public Schools. She has presented at the Thirteenth Annual Values and Educational Leadership Conference in Victoria, British Columbia and University Council for Educational Administration in Anaheim, California. She is selected as a Jackson Scholar and accepted to the Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar. Her research areas include urban school reform, moral literacy in schools, community schools and social justice. A book review for the Journal of Educational Administration has been published. She has co-authored a chapter Leading Across Boundaries: The Role of Community Schools and Cross-Boundary Leadership in School Reform in New Perspectives in Educational Leadership: Exploring Social, Political, and Community Contexts and Meaning.
Additional awards and honors include Teacher of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year nominee, Bandmaster of the Year, Who’s Who Among High School Principals and Outstanding Educator Award presented by the Louisiana Association of School Executives
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