‘Interference’ v. ‘Oversight’: The superintendent-school board dynamic



The N&O has a story about the Johnston County schools superintendent resigning over “interference” from the school board.  *Though, if you read deeper into the article, it looks like they have one hot mess on their hands up there in Johnston County.)



There are quite a few public schools bureaucrats who believe that — if you do not hold one of the sacred PhDs from a school of education at an institution of higher learning — you have no right to question what they are doing.  THEY know “best.”



The problem?  None of those folks have to face the voters.  None of them were installed by the voters.  Instead, we have way too many elected school boards across this state that act subservient to the superintendent and his/ her staff.  The proper roles here are overseers and overseen.  Superintendents need to brief their overseers on the board to seek approval before acting on any new schemes.  After all,  these people were elected by the people to keep an eye on things in the school system.



Barring major scandals,  school news regularly gets the ho-hum treatment by the public and the media.   There is quite the temptation to get caught up in the presidential and congressional races.  But these local races have much more of an effect on your and your family’s daily lives than those  contests do.




We’ve got one heck of a submissive board of education here in Moore County.   There has been public outrage over a number of issues:  redistricting,  school system expenditures,  and transparency,  among other things.



Instead of behaving as advocates for bewildered and frustrated parents and voters,  our school board members have behaved like paid employees of the superintendent and school system.  They can regularly be found in the pages of our local paper passionately defending each and every move by the school bureaucracy.




Well,  there appears to be something brewing out here in the real world.   Pitchforks are being gathered.  Torches are being lit



Parents are organizing politically.  They’re raising money and recruiting candidates to challenge incumbents.  They’re holding informational town hall-style meetings.



In March, it looks like we’ve got some competitive school board races to ponder:



District 1:  Incumbent (and teacher) Stacey Caldwell appears to have drawn a challenge from Carthage area resident Brandon Coleman.  Granted, we don’t know him.  But considering the fact that Ms. Caldwell has sat on the board like a bump on  a log,  rubber-stamping the superintendent’s agenda, the challenge is welcome.



District 2:   Incumbent Helena Wallin-Miller (a Democrat, BTW) has two challengers:  attorney, businessman, Southern Pines resident,  former Moore County GOP chairman,  and former Pilot columnist Bob Levy;  and West End’s Crystal Williams.  Wallin-Miller has also been a rubber-stamp,  so she needs to go.  (And we’re hoping that the independent-minded Levy can  dethrone her. )



District 4:  Incumbent board member (and retired educrat)  Betty Wells Brown has drawn a challenge from conservative David Hensley.  (Hensley, we’re pretty comfortable in saying, is the OPPOSITE of a rubber stamp.)  Best of luck to Mr. Hensley.



District 5:  Incumbent John Weaver was selected by the board to fill the seat left vacant by the death of long-time board leader Bruce Cunningham.  He hasn’t been around long, so we’re inclined to give him some slack.  But he needs to convince the voters of his intentions to be an overseer and advocate but not a sycophant.


He has two challengers:  Philip Holmes of Pinebluff, and Edward Spence of Aberdeen.



11 thoughts on “‘Interference’ v. ‘Oversight’: The superintendent-school board dynamic

  1. As one who fought against Common Core (even wrote an expose Power Point briefing for the Tea Party if anyone is interested!)
    and all the PC idiocy of global warming, DEATH EDUCATION, gender benders with the goal of recruitment into horrible misrepresentations of one’s biological body, International Bacc Degree program, ETC….all with the
    goal of make our children a GLOCAL CITIZEN–read MIND NUMBED ROBOT. These ideologues jettisoned everything that has ever worked for CENTURIES OF EDUCATION! I gave up on school boards. Yes, I spent years, bird-dogging School Board meetings; writing warning letters to the editor on just how dumbed down curriculum had become. I finally gave up—for they NEVER LISTEN TO THOSE WHO PAY THEIR BILLS!
    Citizens who actually CARE about what these godless tyrants are indoctrinating our children with, must either pull them out for homeschooling or PUT THEM where a real curriculum teaches them how to read, write, compute and speak intelligently without ah’s, em’s, AND learn REAL AMERICAN HISTORY! —hopefully, you get my drift. No one can doubt how we got a generation of SNOW FLAKES who shriek at a real American winning the Presidency–but those of us God loving/fearing citizens know it was PRAYER.
    GOD IS STILL THERE FOLKS….waiting for His TRUTH to cut through the slime of what passes for education today. I’m done!
    Bonnie Dougherty
    Cdr USN RET.

  2. Don’t forget the lost ACT scores that made national news. They never found the score sheets; they just disappeared—strange.

  3. Can you imagine a school board meeting with the Super, and Bob Levy and David Hensley are at the table?
    I would pay to watch.

  4. I think the School Board in my County, has earned the blue ribbon for Top Fool Board. Our Superintendent sued the Sheriff. Step up Boards and try your hand at beating that !

  5. I just posted the below on Louis Gregory’s re-election page. After reading this Daily Haymaker article on “Inerface vs Oversight”, I thought it appropriate to post here as well.


    I saw a video where Libby Carter stated that the BoE were going to meeting with you all to advocate for more money because apparently they just discovered that it is going to cost money to operate all of the gold-plated elementary schools they built for their neighbors and friends in South County (while completely ignoring North County and Middle/High Schools) and thought I would send you a note.

    Please do not let them dupe you all again. It has become like Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football and you all aren’t Lucy.

    You mentioned last week that you changed your view and were going to start questioning/challenging the rogue school board and administration. Now is the time. How about actually crossing stuff out of their budget, tell them “No” on their endless requests and hold people accountable for poor planning and reckless spending?

    That is what the Moore County taxpayers (minus a few radical agitators commonly referred to as the “Bob Mob”) expect of you and your fellow commissioners. It is your fiduciary responsibility plus, it will be awesome to see!

    Also, if you would also let the BoE and Robert (Grimisey) know that I am going to get elected to the school board and once sworn in, one of the first things I am going to do is commission (and pay for with my own money) an independent audit of the Moore County School System books going back three years with instructions to verify every receipt and every expenditure against the budgeted amount. They will also compare what they find with statewide norms. The results of this study will be presented simultaneously to the BoE, the school administrators and the public in a regularly scheduled public BoE meeting. After the briefing of the results, a complete, unedited complete record of their audit will be posted on the MCS website. Any wasteful spending or unaccounted money will be highlighted, not buried, in the report.

    I look forward to the results of that audit. It will be a huge step in restoring faith in the Moore County School administration and will show a properly run BoE executing its oversight role by conducting an independent, detailed audit. Won’t it be nice for a group of successful adults with great diversity in their backgrounds and experiences in charge for a change?

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