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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Buell berates board during meeting

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Forrest Buell
Discourse erupted during a special meeting of the Clay Community School Board of Trustees.

Agenda items up for consideration included the 2010 budget, personnel issues and the hiring of an interim principal at Clay City Elementary.

Jon Russell was called to active duty, and the board has been informed the minimum he would be gone is two months.

Discussion ensued over the hiring process of the interim principal Dorene Kenworthy.

Board member Forrest Buell continued to call into question the fairness of the process and the panel who reviewed the applicants. The position received 26 applicants.

"I just want to make sure the process was fair to all the applicants," he said. "I have nothing against the lady, I've never met her."

The panel, which consisted of Clay Community School Corporation Supt. Dan Schroeder, Director of Personnel, Data and Food Service Carolyn Kumpf and Assistant Supt. of Curriculum Kim Tucker. Curriculum Director Kathy Knust excused herself from the panel due to medical reasons.

Though board members were asked if they would like to serve on the panel, all declined.

Seven applicants were called in for an interview and three were called back in for a second.

Though Schroeder explained the process, Buell, who was noticeably agitated, continued to question the integrity of the procedure.

"There is too much turmoil," he said. "This is the only time to ask these questions and they should be asked before we vote."

The board voted 5-1 (Brian Atkinson was not present) to hire Kenworthy and board president Ted Jackson agreed to write the responses to the questions Buell, who voted against the hiring, brought up.

"I am very excited about the opportunity and I can't wait to start," Kenworthy said. "I can't wait to work with the teachers, students and community in Clay City."

She will begin today and the amount of time on her contract will be determined when the corporation receives the time frame for Russell's active duty assignment.

"We would like to thank Kim Tucker for working (at CCE)," board member Terry Barr said. "And we welcome Dorene to the corporation."

The next meeting of the Clay Community School Board of Trustees will be Thursday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m., at East Side Elementary. The board will meet again Monday, Sept. 14, at 6:30 p.m., at North Clay Middle School to approve the 2010 budget.

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Hmmmmmm....seems like me smells a rat! Kudos to Dr. Forrest Buell for asking questions about the integrity of the selection process. Why didn't Clay City Elementary's staff and parents get to be involved in the interviewing/selection process as has been the standard procedure for all the other buildings when searching for a new principal? Could it be someone on the school board wanted to control the selection? "Mayberry" is a small town where everybody knows everybody and word travels fast. Good for you, Dr. Buell, for again doing what's right and not giving in to peer pressure! I wonder why Ted Jackson is the one writing the responses to Dr. Buell's questions. Shouldn't those questions be answered by the people who were involved with the interviewing process??? Wait, maybe he was!

-- Posted by littletad on Tue, Sep 1, 2009, at 10:00 PM


-- Posted by GO HOOSIERS on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 12:13 AM

Wow, now we want parents and school staff involved in selecting a principal. I guess we dont need a school board at all. Someone please tell us how to get Buell removed from the board, the building, and the county. Enough already, Forrest - Run, run far away from here you silly old man.

-- Posted by reddevil on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 1:09 AM

reddevil....having a parent/staff selection committee is not a new concept. Clay Community School Corporation has done that for many years, but for some unexplained reason this practice was not applied at Clay City. If you would have done some research, you would have known that. You should check it out. While you're at it, why not research the function of a school board, too!

-- Posted by littletad on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 5:12 AM

The question I would ask is how openings are advertised so the pool of applicants are not only those who know about the positions locally?

I think to draw from a larger pool of applicants might give us better choices from which to pick in some cases. I've been asking this question for quite a few years now. It's not that I am against any person that the board has approved but maybe we could have gotten someone better if the search net was thrown wider for we should be looking for the BEST person available to fill the position, not just the best person that we happen to know...

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 5:53 AM

I've never heard of parents and staff selecting a principal. That makes about as much sense as factory workers or any other business selecting who they want to be their boss. Seems to me this is how nepotism and total lack of control has infected the schools. There are some great people in Clay City. Too bad there are short minded, caught in the past, radicals who leave a bad impression about the good citizens of Clay City. Doc has done good things for the people of Clay City (about 30 years ago) However he could have still saved Clay City High School and not held up the original building process which cost the WHOLE COUNTY and made us the laughing stock of the state. Just ask anyone in the education realm, they've all heard of Clay County!!!!

-- Posted by hope4county on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 6:06 AM

Please excuse me for not understanding how a democratic representative form of public oversight works. I have always thought that the meetings of the representatives, read that as the meetings of the school board, town council, Indiana General Assembly, Congress, etc., was where an issue was to be debated in full view of the public. If there is to be no debate at that point and the recommendations of the administration, any administration at any level of organization, are presented merely to be "rubberstamped", why hold a meeting at all as the decision has already been made?

My problem is not that Forrest Buell asked a question, my thinking is that five representatives voted in favor of something without having the answer to that question. Perhaps they are preparing to run for Congress where, so I am told, legislation is voted on without a representative reading it, understanding what it says, and researching the ramifications of it.

Way to go, Forrest! Thank God the citizens of Clay County and the one township of Parke has one representative on the board that truly understands what it means to represent the citizenery.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 6:15 AM

The only thing I would ask is how the position opening was advertised...While I have nothing against the person hired, I have asked the board and superintendent several times why they don't widen the net for a larger pool of applicants so we are assured that we are getting the best person for the job and not just the best person we happen to know. This is a policy decision that I have asked to have changed in the past regarding other specific positions. While it might not be as important for a temporary position, it definitely is for the more permanent ones.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 6:20 AM

Hope4county -- are you speaking of some long-past building past with your comment of "However he could have still saved Clay City High School and not held up the original building process..." or are you speaking of recent building projects.

If you are speaking of recent events, while Forrest Buell was an active participant in events, I initiated the petition to have a petition and remonstrance process and it was signed by at least two of the members of the current board when they were candidates. Obviously, the Indiana General Assembly also saw a need for the public to participate in decisions of this nature as they changed Indiana law to REQUIRE that major building projects automatically must face a referendum.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 6:31 AM

Why bother writing up the answers to questions MR. Jackson you already hired? You cant go back & unhire. All I can say on the school board is they confuse me, I go to the school board meeting & dont feel like I know any more when I leave they when I arrived. I know Doc gets under peoples skin but you cant say he doesnt care for the kids, Because he truely does.

-- Posted by confused33 on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 7:27 AM

Way to go Dr. Buell. Folks, this isn't costing our corporation.....what costs this corporation whether it be time, money, resources or the valuable education time of our students, is just rubber stamping everything that comes across the desks of the school board members. If this man can ask these questions, which seem to be completely viable questions, the board owes it to the folks who elect them to answer the questions. If they are too narrow minded to come up with questions of their own, that doesn't mean that because Dr. Buell is intelligent and responsible in questioning these items that they don't deserve some time.

Do any of you realize how much the constituents do not know about our school corporation? You think you know, but you just don't.

The students and staff of Clay City have been turned upside down, back and forth. They fire our principal and then re-hire, he leaves for the military, comes back, now leaves again for an undetermined amount of time and they bring in someone who knows nothing of our school, our parents and staff.

There was someone better for the job. Someone that the people should have had some say about. What is this person going to do when Mr. Russell comes back? It is apparent that the most cost efficient way to handle this would have been to keep Ms. Tucker in as interim principal, or use the assistant principal who is already in the school on a day to day basis. She interviewed, but was turned down? WHY?

-- Posted by __2--- on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 9:10 AM

I don't understand what Dr. Buell is getting at. It seems to me that all he does is cause more work for everyone. I also believe he gets up and beats his hands on the table or podium just to hear himself talk. He is like a broken record, what he usually has to say has nothing to do with the topic at hand. He needs to be removed from the school board all he does is cost the tax payers more money, yes I am one of them. Let me get this right, the board members were asked if they wanted to be on the selection committee and they all declined. But now he is throwing a fit, go figure. Sounds like something my 7 year old would do. Dr. Buell needs to be disciplined for his actions, I haven't figured out how being on the school board and writing letters to the editors bashing the corporation that he represents isn't a conflict. One more thing I have never in my life heard of a board member abstaining from voting to end the meeting, what did he want to do listen to himself rant and rave somemore? Get him off of the board.

-- Posted by kibbemi on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 9:18 AM

I guess the only thing I have to say is, it's hard to replace such a great guy as principle.

Mr. Russell is a fantastic guy and will be missed during his active duty. I pray for him and his family that all is well!

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 10:08 AM

2 things...

#1, why is this being made into such a huge issue it's an interim position and may only for 3 months no one knows...

#2, The Corporation knows what teachers and Principals are Army Reservists and National Guard Members....Are there not systems built in should an occurance such as this arise? When I was in Elementery School, one of our Teachers was licensed as an administrator, so that if the Principal was out of town he could step up and take his place. Why don't they have a similar arrangement at Clay City....

-- Posted by Fitch9392 on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 11:12 AM

I understand that they need to replace the principle, but how many times. It's obvious that the parents don't want him there, they signed a petition for christ sake to get rid of him. What was wrong with the guy who replaced him the last time Mr. Mogan. He was great! I was sorry to see him go. Even after he moved on he still came to the kids basketball games and new every kid there...why not get rid of Russell and just be done with it. I know personally of 3 petitions to get rid of Russell and yet he still comes back.

-- Posted by cheeziette on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 1:17 PM


Check your facts and do a search in this very paper. Mr Russel stepped down willingly from position as principal at Clay City elementary in order to spend more time with his family. I believe that was near to what he actually said when the Times interviewed him shortly afterwards so it was out of his own mouth. Why later AFTER he submitted his resignation he reversed his decision and the board accepted his appeal to reverse it, I don't know. Only the board and Mr Russel know it seems. Sorry can't blame his resignation on the board but if he did something wrong and he thought he could save face by resigning before the board fired him, then yes the board is at fault for letting him reverse his decision and return. Makes the whole situation appear quite underhanded from whichever way you look at it...and as far as knowing the staff and students and parents it's not personally knowing them that makes a good principal, it's knowing how to do their job. I know a bunch of the students and staff at Northview. That doesn't make me qualified to be principal there. As a matter of fact sometimes it's better NOT to know the people so well so maybe the kids who had lousy behaving parents when in school won't continue to carry the stigma of their parents' antics all through their school years too. this lady may do a wonderful job but without a full blown search was she the best person available for it?

There are many rats in this school system and until they are all hunted out and revealed so we can deal with the problems openly nothing will change for to deal with problems one has to admit that there are problems first.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 1:18 PM


I was referring to the previous sentence indicating, 30 or more years ago during the original closing of the 3 northern high schools.

To All Others:

Also in regard to others comments, This is a simple position of hiring an employee. As in any company or entity, the hiring process must be done by a selected group of individuals who are qualified to screen and recommend. With the exception of political office I have never heard of the entire population grilling each applicant for every position. This is not only ludicrus but you would also never find anyone who satisfies everyone. Also it is very demeaning for the applicant and about as CLAY COUNTYesque as you can get. Not professional or accepted by a reasonable society.

-- Posted by hope4county on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 3:40 PM

According to the Indiana School Board Association:

Two of the most important duties of school board members are to "set goals and establish policy for the school system, from which all board decisions should logically follow."

While expected to make decisions on a wide range of potential problems, a school board member needs to be a "skilled decision maker and remember that decisions are to be made only by the board acting as a whole in an advertised public meeting," while using the best information available.

"Individual opinions on matters being considered can and should be defended vigorously," but once the board reaches a decision, "it should be accepted gracefully and implemented wholeheartedly."

Board members should "respect the opinions" of fellow board members and conform to the principle of "majority rule."

Now, in my opinion, this is one of several times where Buell has caused "discourse" at a school board meeting. I'm sorry, but if someone starts an argument about procedures they are not willing to participate in from the start, that person is being a nuisance or a grandstander.

(Am I the only person who thinks Buell could have kept an eye on things if he agreed to be on the committee in the first place? IF so concerned about this issue, why didn't he DEMAND to be on the committee? Seems he only cares about something after he forgets about it and is reminded.)

I hope its not the latter. This county has enough of those as it is.

-- Posted by Cy on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 5:43 PM

1. survivingmotherhood on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 9:18 AM -- For a board member to sit on a body that will later make a recommendation as to the hiring or firing of an employee is not recommendable. The board is supposed to question recommendations of the administration and make an objective. With a member sitting on a panel that, in fact, makes a recommendation, the board loses objectivity.

2. hope4county on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 3:40 PM -- How familiar are you with Northview? I was not here when it was build, but I am on the school improvement committee, I have a child and two grandchildren attending, most of my family that has attended high school since it was built went there, and I have four more relatives that will be attending in the next five years. When a school is so large that a student has been attending for two years cannot be identified within two minutes by a group of ten people that work in or attend classes in that building, that school is too big for anyone to know what is going on within it. I found out that Northview is too big by having a young lady hit my vehicle in the parking lot at dismissal one evening and it took ten people twenty minutes and they had to look in a yearbook to figure out who she was. I have had to go to the school and get children in emergency situations and that usually takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes as no one ever seems to know where anyone is. Another problem is internal security. We just spent a couple of thousand dollars to install a high security front door and a communication system so that visitors can and must communicate with the office before entry. One of the selling points for that was that someone entered an open rear door a few months ago. I questioned why policy allowed the door to be open. Now that we have invested money in a new door, the policy has been changed to keep all doors closed and the students inside other than when classes require them to be outdoors. My question is why policy wasn't changed and would we have needed to spend money if it had been? That is only the very tip of the iceberg. There are others that comment here that would flat scare you with what they have observed. Knowing about some of the problem areas within the school, if I had been in the area at the time that it was built, I would have stood in opposition to its formation.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 5:59 PM

Whoops, left out a word. "The board is supposed to question recommendations of the administration and make an objective." should read "The board is supposed to question recommendations of the administration and make an objectiveDECISION."

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 6:02 PM


When you say "stood in opposition to its formation" do you mean consolidation which formed Northview, or the construction of the phyisical school?

-- Posted by Dan Whitted on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 6:30 PM

Leo, You are absolutely correct, you weren't here at the time and saw the conditions of the 3 buildings of the high schools that made up Northview, therefore you don't know what I'm talking about and I appologize. I do know about the shortcommings of the Northview building, I've had children spend their high school years therea and I'm very familiar with the building. What I was stating earlier is that what Dr Buell did back then by needlessly delaying the process for years (not just a few months) the building is all that the county could afford and it was much more expensive to try to update and make the 70 and 80 year old schools safe to occupy. Those of us who went to those schools understand and are disheartened by what we were able to provide to our children in the new building. The finished product is just a glimmer of what it could and should have been but due to a minority in the community, led by Dr Buell the extensive years of delay led to unbearable costs in litigation and the prices of building materials,labor,and property increased dramatically. I appologize for the rambling but those who went to those schools and remained in the community understand the history and why we feel as we do today. History keeps repeating itself and nobody can seem to change that.

-- Posted by hope4county on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 6:38 PM


As for the full process the corporation used in advertising for the Clay City Principal's position--I am unaware of. However, in searching for a teaching position of my own, I did discover that the district advertised on the Indiana Department of Education's statewide database that anyone can look at. The dateabase is open to anyone across the country or world as far as that goes. Anyone interested could have applied. I'm impressed they had 26 applicants for an interim position.

-- Posted by Partrosie on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 7:29 PM

Amen hope4county I also was one of those students that sat in class and the teacher could tell before it would happen to move all students out of the way when plaster would fall from the ceiling and on to our desk.It took 15 years for a courageous group of school board members to vote and get the job done .The plans back then were for more square footage it had a pool in it which is something people are still asking our YMCA to do now.Buell voted back then and cost us money and he still votes today against things that are needed.These things are needed now not 15 years from now when the same thing we need now cost 52 million.Do most of you know that Northview is the biggest school in the STATE without a second gym and without a pool.Clay city could use a second gym themselves.Again I think it will happen one of these days but the longer we wait the more it will cost.Times are tough but don't wait until tomorrow on what can be done today.

-- Posted by GO HOOSIERS on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 7:39 PM

I remember, hope4county, and you are right and I won't repeat what you stated. Remember the 3Bs, Beasley, Bradshaw and Buell? Their goal in life was to stop the schools and what for other than their god like complex. Dr. Buell cost the Clay County tax payers millions of dollars and I do mean millions. Just ask some of the folks who had kids in the schools during those years and they (we) can enlightened you.

Oh yes, the Clay County voters, voted in the school board to represent them and to make the wisest decisions for the students. Give it up Dr. Buell and let the board do your work. If a voter is not happy with a board member, then don't vote for him/her the next time.

-- Posted by Tracy Jones on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 7:58 PM

Something people need to realize is Northview is not a new school anymore. Its 25 years old,and at that time it was built it was state of the art.Things change in 25 years.The reason it was built that big is so that you can fit 1,000 students in it.Could you do that at the old Brazil High School,not a chance. As far as the pool is concerned, yes it was to have one.Its my understanding that it was done away with when the board relized it didnt have a social studies wing in the plans.

-- Posted by Dan Whitted on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 8:07 PM

Sorry Dan i'm not trying to go in the past ,but I'm talking about the first school that Buell voted down not the present Northview.This school was to be named Cunberland High School.The present school was to be just Staunton and Brazil.Van Buren was getting thier own school.The state stepped in and said you can not afford to build 2 new schools.Thats when Van Buren was added.The blue prints had already been passed as is.So they could change the inside all they wanted but could not add on to the school at that time or a remonstrance could have been started and we would still be in the condeemed schools that have been torn down since.yes this school would be 30 plus years but would have been paid for in the 80's like North and South .

-- Posted by GO HOOSIERS on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 9:25 PM


You are correct in what you say about Northview/Cumberland. However the reason Northview is in need of 12 classrooms and an another gym is directly due to Forrest Buell's

political terrorism of the late 70's and early 80's. No matter if you are talking about Cumberland or Northview, the current high school is less than it needed to be because of Forrest Buell's zeal to give all to Clay City at the expense of the 75% of us that live in the north.

He was successful at that.

Living in Posey Township, Dr. Buell led us to believe he was in favor of the current building project to renovate the elementary schools during the most recent election. I was shocked when he was part of the remonstrance. Let me tell you, if it were not for the people in the Staunton area that thoght he was for us, he would not have won the election last year. We won't make that mistake again ! !!

-- Posted by HappyTimes on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 10:18 PM

"Also in regard to others comments, This is a simple position of hiring an employee. As in any company or entity, the hiring process must be done by a selected group of individuals who are qualified to screen and recommend. With the exception of political office I have never heard of the entire population grilling each applicant for every position. This is not only ludicrus but you would also never find anyone who satisfies everyone. Also it is very demeaning for the applicant and about as CLAY COUNTYesque as you can get. Not professional or accepted by a reasonable society."

-- Posted by hope4county on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 3:40 PM

Apparently you misunderstood my comment about staff/parent selection committee. Nowhere did I suggest an entire population grill an applicant. I was eluding to past practice of the Clay Community School Corporation of establishing a search committe comprised of a couple of staff members, parents, and Central Office personnel to sit in on interviews and come to a consensus on an applicant to submit to the Board for approval for an administrative position. I remember when Staunton had such a committee when their current principal was hired. Van Buren had a committee when their current principal was hired. East Side had a committee when their current principal was hired. Clay City had one when Mr. Russell was hired, too. I would venture to say North Clay, Northview, Jackson Township, and Clay City High School also had such committees. You appear to be a person who has been in this county for a long time, but yet appear to be unaware of how administrators have been selected over the last decade and a half plus. (not professional or accepted by a reasonable society????) Why is it so wrong for Clay City people to get the same courtesy extended their way. Dr. Buell has every right to question the integrity of the process. One must question why this position was filled without having the same input afforded to the other elementaries. My guess is someone on the Board feared the outcome of such a committee and felt the need to control it by ensuring the members of the committee to be comprised of the top three Central Office staff. I would be willing to bet that no Board member volunteered to serve on the committee because he/she didn't want to take the blame for a poor or wrong choice. It's much easier to appear unbiased that way while still having a hand in the selection by making phone calls, sending emails, holding conversations,etc. What made the filling of this position any different from filling any other principal's position? Someone had to have a reason to "change the rules" this time. (Just food for thought) I do not know the person selected for the position at Clay City Elementary's interim position, but I certainly wish her and her staff good luck!!

-- Posted by littletad on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 10:20 PM

LOL, I am familiar with the buildings that Northview replaced and others of their age. I attended Freedom, Coal City, and Bowling Green before they closed, Particksburg before it consolidated with Owen Valley and became an elementary (I think that they replaced the old building there) before graduating from Clay City in 1973. I remember how impressed the people in Clay County were when Owen Valley and White River Valley opened and I can imagine the effort that was made to "keep up with the Joneses" by people who are impressed with fancy buildings but will not do the research into what are the academic needs of the student body and what the law requires that the taxpayer to provide in education.

Now, a few questions.

Isn't the very same building that was Van Buren school being utilized as Van Buren Elementary or was there another building that is now gone?

What law requires that a school of any size have to have any structure for sports of any kind? Even to have a basketball court within a gymnasium is not a requirement of the law, only for space be provided to house physical education. Why, as a taxpayer, should I or any other taxpayer have to pay for the construction, operating expenses, and maintenance expenses of any school property not required by the curriculum. Are the gymnasiums at Clay City and Northview insufficient to house the physical education classes of their respective student bodies? People are constantly trying to overbuild our buildings and forgetting that the school corporation is for education. What the buildings may be used for after school hours is not what determines the needs of the building, it is what has to occur during attendance. It is not a requirement of law for the taxpayer to support any extra-curricular activity, by their very title they are not required for education.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 7:09 AM

Mr. Southworth......EXACTLY. Your last comment is precisely why Dr. Buell should not be hung out by his toenails. Everything, every notion, every motion, every bill, every pre-conceived theory gets rubber stamped past this board.

Buell is not BERATING the Board. Asking questions is the JOB of the Board. I'm pretty sure that if there were nothing to hide 1. There would be no question 2. There would be no hesitation in answering a question.

Good for the county council in dissecting the budget. Why can't the school corporation be more responsible?

-- Posted by __2--- on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 9:50 AM

You may mean well Leo, but I think you saw first-hand what the voters thought of your platform during the last election.

-- Posted by cubbiefan on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 9:56 AM

If all 7 board members were offered a chance to sit in on the interviews, why then didn't Dr. Buell volunteer? I say if you choose not to participate then don't gripe about the process!!!

-- Posted by cubbiefan on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 10:09 AM

I think it's amazing that out of all of the bickering, name calling, and assumptions, nobody has bothered to investigate and discover that. IT IS ILLEGAL TO DISCUSS PERSONNEL ISSUES IN PUBLIC!!! End of Story

-- Posted by hope4county on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 12:15 PM

Since when does that apply to our county?

-- Posted by cubbiefan on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 2:15 PM

Who said they (the Board members) were asked to sit on the interview panel??? Maybe they asked the collective Board, maybe they only asked a representative of the Board. The paper has been misquoted before, that we can agree on.

Whose to say that the administration isn't bringing in someone who is going to go along with whatever they can't get the Board to rubber stamp? This principal may be the best thing to ever happen to this corporation. I hope we can all give her the opportunity to prove herself. This issue has little importance in comparison to the big picture.

Mr. Jackson and the rest of the Board MUST be more responsible and pro-active. You do not have to go along with whatever the Superintendent / Administration pass down. In a perfect world they would have the best interests of everyone in mind. In this case however, it is apparent that with this multi million dollar building program, with the overcrowded classrooms and overpaid administrators, the lack of education governing our decisions, etc. is a sign of the time to take the Board in a new direction.

I hope the people and the people who represent them (i.e. the board) START asking questions. If you aren't happy with how things are going, contact the School Board. Do it now. Send them an email, a letter, a phone call.

I'm just infuriated that because Buell asked these questions that he's being put in the doghouse. That's unfair and ridiculous and should be a warning that something is not on the up and up. I haven't heard Jackson, Heffner, Kaelber and the gang say a word. Why not? Too busy passing through every idea that administration thinks up. GET REAL!!!!!

-- Posted by __2--- on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 2:18 PM

Cubbiefan -- if you wish to dissect the last election of the school board, you may well consider this. I ran for election in the district that serves Meridian and Eastside Elementary Schools after public announcing my opposition to renovating those two buildings. Actually, I was pleased and surprised to receive 13% of the vote on that basis. The facts that indicate that renovation of 2 fifty-year-old buildings to be able to use them for only forty more years instead of consolidation into one new building is not the best option for the community have not changed, but, then, the coming election is for at-large representation serving the entire community. I was actually shocked that the board voted to adopt the renovation project as the facts are so glaringly apparent to anyone who looked even minutely. I had thought that the board would reject that proposal and do what has needed to be done since the 1980's, but they were swayed by very vocal special-interest groups who have more nostalgia than business sense. You do not have to look any farther than who spoke at the 1028 hearing on the project and read how the speakers identified themselves for that fact to reveal the truth of the matter. That is one reason why I was shocked by the vote, what was being done and by whom was so glaringly apparent. The employees of those two schools came en masse and, by the school board's own rules, should have been limited to one speaking representative instead of allowing each of them to speak. However, as the board was not going to be objective on the decision anyway, the rule was not enforced. Politics and the personal desires of many people pushed the project through over good sense.

So, it is what it is and we must deal with it. Now we need to plan ahead, making sure that the public knows what is needed, what is not needed, what is a good investment, and what is costing us education dollars while not contributing to education. We also must operate on a daily basis with what funding we have. I'm willing to do my best to do the job for the good of the entire corporation without serving special interests that conflict with the needs of the corporation. If that gets me elected, fine, if it doesn't, that's fine by me too, at least the people had the choice.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 2:35 PM

hope4county - personnel issues, as in actions concerning specific personnel, are matters for executive session of the board.

Personnel selection processes are subject to discussion at public meetings.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 2:38 PM

Leo - I do appreciate your passion and the fact that you take the time to educate yourself. I guess if you and Dr. Buell were on the board together, the meetings would be much more interesting.

-- Posted by cubbiefan on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 3:21 PM

Forrest Buell is a grouchy old man who is still angry that Northview was even built. He needs to realize that educational needs of today's children are not stuck in the 50's. Women can be effective principals. A personnel matter, such as hiring, should not be left to parents other teachers or grouchy old men. It is time to put Forrest in the Home. He can argue with the other grouchy old men there.

Good luck to the new Principal. It sounds like she will need it.

By the way Jenny, Why on earth would someone from another city or town want to come to work for the Clay Community Schools?? The teachers worked for several years without a contract and when they finally got one they were criticized for getting wage increases and benefits. You are NOT going to get professionals from other areas until the teachers, principals, and ancillary staff members are treated with RESPECT in the community. And the pay scale has to be at least comparible to other districts of similar size.

-- Posted by virginiagrace on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 5:02 PM




-- Posted by GO HOOSIERS on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 9:17 PM

Cubbiefan -- I don't know that if Dr. Buell and I sat on the school board at the same time the meetings would be more interesting....LOL! More informative and more explanative as to why a decision went the way that it did, for sure, but a lot of the business of running any organization is pretty devoid of excitement.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Sep 4, 2009, at 10:39 AM

Cat811 -- Thank you for your information on the old Van Buren building. I wasn't sure as the last time I was there during high school had to have been before 1973. While my grand-daughter attends Van Buren, I wasn't sure if there was another building there in the past.

On what facts do you base your opinion that the gym at Northview is not large enough to house the Physical Education classes of the student body?

According to the CCSC course book, we have two one-semester required courses for the 9th and 10th grades and six full-year electives, none of which utilize the gym every day that they meet. Last year, total enrollment was 1154, but not all students take the physical education elective courses.

While there may be scheduling conflicts due to our six period day, vice seven periods, and a shortage of teachers to teach, as it was reported that the Dance classes were being taught concurrently due to small class sizes and teacher availability, there is no shortage of space to teach the courses offered in the Physical Education Department.

We simply do not need another gym to provide for education and do not need to be paying money out of our operating budget for utilities and maintenance to support one for extra-curricular activities. Those education dollars are needed in the classrooms.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Sep 4, 2009, at 11:15 AM

Well I think this school corporation has completely forgot what a school board is actually for and that is to write policy. Not to get involved in the drama of the schools. I truly believe that some of the members we have on the school board have no opinion of their own and go along with others. All you have to do is go to one school board meeting and see that half of them look to see who is voting on what issue so then they raise their hand. This corp. can't handle someone that has opinions and goes against everyone else. As far as the selection process, it is not out of the ordinary for parents to sit in on the interview. They pick someone that can be objective obviously but that is not unusual. Well we have too many good ole boys type of people that sit on our school board that get way too involved in situations that doesnt need to be tended to by the board. As far as Ted Jackson goes, why would you answer questions? What is it that makes you more qualified than others on the board. Questions should be answered as a group and not individual basis. I do think that if you are on the board and live in a certain area then you should most definitely be more supportive of the school closest to you. I am pretty sure most dont realize how tight of a circle there actually is at CCE as far as certain teachers in with school board members in with people that work out at Central Office. Who needs a principal when you obviously have several that already run the school? I feel sorry for any principal that gets in that school because you will get a bad reputation real fast. GOOD LUCK!!

-- Posted by srdd on Fri, Sep 11, 2009, at 8:49 AM

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