Letter: Weigh interests of children in selecting superintendent

This letter is addressed to members of the Newton County Board of Education. I do not envy you at this time. You carry the weight of all the children of Newton County schools on your shoulders -- and that should be a very heavy weight. You will soon select a new leader for our children, and your decision is critical.

I have reviewed the news articles with each candidates' qualifications. Some impress me positively, and some impress me negatively. But that is just writing. I would love to hear from supervisors as to each candidate's performance in their current situation.

I have great concern for someone who says our system is "outstanding" because it is not. It is adequate and moving toward outstanding, but is not there yet. Sometimes when we think something is very good we have a tendency to let that "something" stand on its own and focus elsewhere, and that is not what our system needs. We need someone who recognizes the needs and has the fire in their belly to do whatever they can to fulfill those needs and beyond.

I like that one candidate recognizes that each student's needs must be met. Having "been there, done that" and raised three very successful children, I know that each student does not learn in the same manner and this must be recognized. I would like to see someone in this position who wants to be a part of this community. Someone who will live amongst our children, go to the new Walmart, eat pizza at Stevi B's and get ice cream at Scoops. Someone who will walk the Square, go to the new library and the old one and embrace our children always.

It does not matter to me how many employees have been supervised or how big of a system this person comes from. What does matter is that this person recognize our positives, nourishes them to their fullest while working overtime to bring the negatives up to par and further.

As a school board member you have been granted the authority to act for others. When elected you were then asked to consider the children of this county and their future. You were not asked to make decisions otherwise.

I ask you to please consider your vote greatly. Do not follow other governing bodies of our county in the way they sometimes arrive at a decision. This decision should not be political nor should it be one to make history. It should be, and only be, a decision for the children.

-- Kathy Silvio



TeacherMan 2 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for speaking out. I am very worried that this school board will try to put someone in who does not know the work being done currently to get scores up to where our public wants them to be. We need a school board who cares less about spending decades on the board and more focused on student achievement. I am shocked as a teacher when I watch the board meetings or go to them. The grammar and usage of the English language alone by the Newton BOE is appalling and that is who is leading our kids? I worry about those same decision makers making the decision for our next superintendent. There are only five votes that matter in all of this and the county should be very worried. Thanks again Mrs. Silvio. And to the Covington News please place blame where it is due regarding Alcovy and that is smack dab on the principal who left in November and never came back this year. The last 3 years have put our test scores in the bottom of the county, the state and therefore the nation since GA ranks so low. Don't blame bloggers and don't blame teachers - many of us are the bloggers who are fed up with the lack of support we have had at Alcovy and many of us are leaving this year. To the school board as we leave CLEAN UP your HR department.


mrsfingerprints 2 years, 7 months ago

@Teacherman - I have never understood that with all of the shame the past principal put on Alcovy High not one education reporter took the time to issue an open records request on the NCSS HR department requesting evidence to support the outrageous turnover at that school. It is public record who leaves and if you look alone at assistant principals and counselors and grad coach and secretarial, bookkeeper, teacher alone the school lost tremendous teacher and employee talent the last three years and it was simply allowed to happen. That is what makes me a little cautious of wanting anyone in the county to be our next superintendent. No one stood up for kids in this mess they just all let it happen. I challenge the Newton Citizen to do a story on employee turnover at Alcovy High School from 2009 - 2013, issue the report and let us decide. Do the whole county if you want to show comparisons.


tomgahunter 2 years, 7 months ago

The choice is obvious..1 Candidate has many years of solid Superintendent experience another has no Supertendent experience but has lots of local experience & support. The 3rd has NO Superintendent experience & is Not local. Looks like an easy choice lets hope the school board does what is right for the school system.


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